Saturday, 04 September 2010
Edoardo Molinari  (Getty Images)
Edoardo Molinari (Getty Images)

Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez takes a three stroke lead over Ryder Cup team-mate Edoardo Molinari into the final round of the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

And it would have been four but for a moment of absent-mindedness by the 46 year old on the tenth fairway at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Jiménez picked his ball up because it was near a sprinkler head, but did not check if it was in the way and ended up putting the ball back in the same spot.

It turned his third round 67 into a 68 - the same as Molinari - and gave him a 17 under total.

If either of them goes on to take the €333,330 first prize that will make it four wins in a row for members of Colin Montgomerie's Team.

The run of success by "Monty's Men" started when German Martin Kaymer lifted his first Major at the US PGA Championship three weeks ago.

That was followed by Swede Peter Hanson capturing the Czech Open and then by Molinari grabbing the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

"It's a pity," said Jimenez, thinking back to the incident at the tenth."I marked it and picked it up like it is preferred lies. Then I thought 'what are you doing?'

"But I'm still feeling good. It's very difficult to follow up a really low score. Anything you do looks like you are doing nothing."

That did not apply to his early play as the Malaga golfer, making his 22nd successive trip to the Alpine resort, birdied four of the first eight holes.

But after the blunder on the tenth he also bogeyed the 12th and 14th before hitting back with birdies on the par five next and the 402 yard last, where he sank a 20 footer.

Molinari is hoping to make it back-to-back wins before he takes three weeks off to rest and then prepare for his Ryder Cup debut alongside his brother Francesco.

He hit his tee shot on the driveable par four seventh to within six feet of the flag.

He missed the eagle putt, birdied the next two as well to be out in 32 like Jiménez, but his only deviation from par on the way home was a four at the short 13th - his only bogey of the tournament so far.

“On the front nine, I played great, didn't miss a fairway or a green,” he said. “I had a great putt on seven for eagle which didn't go in. Front nine was flawless golf but on the back, especially after making bogey on 13, I felt tired all of the sudden.

“I wasn't playing well and I was lucky to make some pars.”

One shot further back in joint third are his 17 year old compatriot Matteo Manassero and England's Steve Webster.

A top-five finish might well be enough for Manassero, last year's British Amateur Champion, to earn a card for next season from the six starts he has so far had as a professional.

But a 69 kept alive his hopes of becoming The European Tour's youngest-ever champion, while Webster moved into the picture with a superb 64 highlighted by an eagle on the 15th.

That was not the low round of the day, though. After making the cut with nothing to spare, Irishman Peter Lawrie - beaten in a play-off in the Czech Republic a fortnight ago - burst from 61st to seventh with a 63.


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-21
2MOLINARI, EdoardoITA18-18
3MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-16
4NOH, Seung-yulKOR18-13
T5DERKSEN, Robert-JanNED18-12

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