Estanislao Goya will take a three shot lead into the final round of the Madeira Islands Open BPI - Portugal at Porto Santo Golfe after compiling a two under par 69 in difficult conditions.
The Argentinian 20 year old started the day a shot off overnight leader Michael Hoey, but took advantage of his rivals’ slip-ups to move to eight under after three rounds.
Goya, who won the Tour de las Americas Order of Merit last year before graduating from the European Challenge Tour, is the latest Argentinian to burst onto The European Tour scene following the path set by compatriots Rafa Echenique and Andres Romero.
“I played great with the short game and then putted great as well and I think that was really the key,” he said.
“It wasn’t easy to hit the greens in regulation so it was important to make the putts. I just tried to keep the double bogeys off the card because they can take you out of contention quickly sometimes. It was very important to stay patient and I managed to do that.”
Goya bogeyed the fourth but made amends instantly with a birdie two into the wind at the next.
A great putt at the sixth secured a birdie four and he picked up further shots at the 11th and 14th, with another dropped shot coming in between at the 13th. After his round Goya admitted that a repeat performance in the final round may be enough for a first European Tour title.
“I have to be the same as today – be patient and committed to every shot,” he added. “That is the way that I have been playing all week and it has worked well for me so far.”
Ireland’s Damien McGrane moved into second on five under after signing for a round of 70.
Last year’s Volvo China Open winner dropped shots at the second and fifth but picked off four birdies with only one bogey after that to hold on to Goya’s coattails.
“I think that was probably the toughest day we have had – maybe Thursday was as bad – but I finished one under par and I am happy with that,” said the 37 year old.
“I threw away a few shots early on, but on a day like today that is going to happen. I feel confident in myself and I am playing well – I have a good chance, we’ll see what happens. The course is playing tough but fair and you have to be creative and improvise around the greens because the short game is the thing that is keeping us all hanging in there.”
Spain’s Carlos Rodiles produced a level par round of 71 to move into third place on four under, with Hoey back in fourth after a 75 left him three under for the week.