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Friday, 19 March 2010
Omega European Masters - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Omega European Masters - Round Two (Getty Images)

Robert Dinwiddie birdied the final hole to take the clubhouse lead in the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland.

The Englishman’s seven under par round of 64 took him to nine under for the tournament, with only overnight leader Rory McIlroy ahead of him on the course.

Dinwiddie opened with an eagle at the par five first and the early momentum stayed with him as he birdied the third.

A dropped shot at six was cancelled out with another birdie at seven and Dinwiddie picked up four shots on his back nine.

Overnight leaders McIlroy and Brett Rumford came up with the perfect response to losing top spot as they started their rounds.

Frenchman Jean-Francois Lucquin leap-frogged them with an eagle on the 543-yard first - the hole where Denmark's Mads Vibe-Hastrup had earlier made only the fourth albatross of The European Tour season.

But defending champion Rumford sank a 40-foot putt for an eagle of his own and then 19-year-old Northern Irishman McIlroy, having hit his second shot to three feet, holed for a matching three.

Vibe-Hastrup's shot was a six-iron from 210 yards, but he covered the next 17 holes in two over for only a 70 and one under total, having survived the halfway cut with nothing to spare.

It was the second albatross in three weeks, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee achieving the feat during The KLM Open in Holland.

The others were by Australian Steven Jeffress at the Michael Hill New Zealand Open and Swede Joakim Backstrom in the Inteco Russian Open Golf Championship 2008.

McIlroy, who had been three in front after his first round 63, led on his own again when Rumford bogeyed the second and the gap was two after the teenager birdied the next.

McIlroy did bogey the fourth, but so did Rumford and when last year's leading amateur at The Open added further birdies on the fifth and seventh to be four under for his round he was three ahead at 12 under.

However a bogey at the tenth saw his lead reduced to two strokes as the third round - which had been moved forward in a bid to avoid bad weather forecast later in the day - drew towards a close.

McIlroy is bidding to become the third youngest winner in European Tour history after South African Dale Hayes and Spanish star Seve Ballesteros.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1MCILROY, RoryNIR18-13
T1LUCQUIN, Jean-FrançoisFRA18-13
T3CLÉMENT, JulienSUI18-12
T3JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-12
T3ORR, GarySCO18-12
T3CÉVAËR, ChristianFRA18-12
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