José-Filipe Lima has eyed another luxury timepiece to add to his watch collection after establishing a commanding advantage on the third day of the Rolex Trophy.
Lima already has two Rolex watches in his 12-strong collection, but is in prime position to add a third after moving to 16 under par with a round of 66 at the picturesque Golf Club de Genève, in the Swiss city of Geneva.
With the afternoon starters yet to complete their rounds, Lima’s closest challengers are currently Australian Daniel Gaunt and Frenchman Victor Riu, who carded respective rounds of 70 and 69 to climb to 11 under par, five shots behind the Portuguese.
Both the winner of this week’s limited-field tournament and the player posting the lowest round receive a brand new watch courtesy of the sponsors, meaning Lima could conceivably bolster his collection by two, and that is the target for the 31 year old on the final day.
Lima, currently second in the Challenge Tour Rankings, said: “I played similar to yesterday, although the conditions were probably a bit easier. I didn’t hole that many putts, but I hit a lot of good shots so I’m really happy with the way I’m playing.
“My all-round game is just very solid at the moment, I’m probably playing the most consistent golf of my whole career. I’m making much less mistakes than I used to – of course I still hit a bad shot every now and then, but even when I do I don’t miss by that much, which makes it easier to recover. I’m also hitting the ball further with my irons and my distance control is also better now, so I feel very comfortable out on the course.
“Of course I don’t want to think too far ahead because this game can change so quickly, but if I can keep playing the way I have, I would be confident of finishing the job tomorrow. I don’t really have a target in mind – my main focus is to try to beat Daniel Gaunt’s lowest round [of 62 on the first day] so that I can win the Rolex, because I love watches.
“I have two Rolex watches already, but I would love to have a third one. I can’t really afford to buy one at the moment, so hopefully I can get one for free!”
For much of the day, Gaunt had looked on course to challenge Lima for the lead, only for a double bogey seven at the eighth hole – where he found the lake in front of the green – to derail his charge.
Riu also endured an up and down day, mixing six birdies with three bogeys to give himself an outside chance of claiming his second Challenge Tour title of the season.