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Friday, 19 March 2010
Commercial Bank Qatar Masters - Round Three  (Getty Images)
Commercial Bank Qatar Masters - Round Three (Getty Images)

Maarten Lafeber produced a stunning back nine at the Estoril Open de Portugal as he narrowly missed out on making history.

Lafeber completed the last nine holes at Oitavos Dunes in just 28 shots to card an astonishing 64 and snatch an unlikely clubhouse lead during a windy afternoon session.

The Dutchman had rocketed in five consecutive birdies and an eagle by the time he stood over a 20 foot putt on the par four 18th to equal The European Tour record for the lowest score through nine holes.

However the record, which at 27 shots is held by five players, just slipped from his grasp as his putt fell short.

Lafeber, who began the day tied for 43rd on level par after surviving the cut by just two shots, reached the turn at level par having traded a birdie at the par five seventh for a bogey at the eighth.

His remarkable back nine began with a birdie at the 444 yard par four tenth.

Similar birdies followed on the next four holes and were rounded off with an emphatic eagle - when he chipped in from 20 meters - at the 573 yard par five 16th.

The Dutchman ended with two pars to finish atop the leaderboard on six under par, two ahead of nearest challengers Mads Vibe-Hastrup, David Lynn and overnight leader Ross McGowan.

“I thought if I got round maybe two or three under par I might have a chance tomorrow but I was very happy with that,” Lafeber said.

“I can’t remember being that low on the back nine before.”

In a field separated by just seven shots before the start of play there were similar low scores being traded by a host of early starters.

Vibe-Hastrup, who began the day two over having just survived the cut, carded a fine six under par 65 to take a share of second - while François Delamontagne came from a similar position to finish tied for sixth following a solid 66.

José Manuel Lara was also hot on the heels of the leaders after completing a round of 67 to tie for 13th, while compatriot Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño also kept in contention with a three under par 68.

Overnight leader McGowan saw his round get off to a solid start. After beginning with a series of pars he made up for a bogey on the 354 yard par four fourth with a birdie on the 500 yard par five seventh. 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1FDEZ-CASTAÑO, GonzaloESP18-7
T1HOEY, MichaelNIR18-7
3MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-6
T4BROADHURST, PaulENG18-5
T4LUNDBERG, MikaelSWE18-5
T4DONALDSON, JamieWAL18-5
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