Sunday, 25 March 2012
Jamie Donaldson  (Getty Images)
Jamie Donaldson (Getty Images)

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Jamie Donaldson turned in a brilliant 28 to move into contention at the Trophée Hassan II and give himself a fantastic chance of The European Tour’s first 59.

The Welshman, starting his final round on the back nine, had eagles at the first two par fives – the tenth and 15th – as well as birdies at the 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th.

He then made a crucial par save from eight feet at the 18th to turn eight under par for the day, and needing to play the front nine in 31 or better to make history.

Earlier the leaders had returned to complete the third round after long delays on Friday.

Ireland’s Damien McGrane double bogeyed the 18th to drop back to 12 under with Italy’s Matteo Manassero, who birdied the 16th on his return.

The 18 year old Italian needs to win to climb into the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 50 in time to make the Masters Tournament, but when the final round began it was McGrane who pulled clear.

While Manassero had two bogeys and a birdie in his first four holes to drop to tied third on 11 under, McGrane birdied the first two to lead Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey by two.

Manassero was level with former Ryder Cup star Phillip Price, who was one under through six, while Donaldson’s flying start took him up 38 places to tied fifth.

Manassero's chance of making it to Augusta National nosedived with a double bogey five on the short eighth, the two-time European Tour winner seeing a chip come back to his feet and dropping back to ten under.

Hoey became the new leader when he reached 15 under by covering the same stretch in five under and was two in front of McGrane and three clear of Price and Lara.

Round of the day, though, continued to come from Price's compatriot Donaldson. After the best nine holes by anyone on The European Tour in 2012, he then birdied the long first as well.

Donaldson’s hopes of a 59 evaporated with a six at the long fifth, but he holed his approach to the ninth for a course record 61 and 13 under clubhouse total.

McGrane was two ahead on 15 under with five to play, with Hoey one behind the leader.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HOEY, MichaelNIR18-17
2MCGRANE, DamienIRL18-14
T3COLES, RobertENG18-13
T3PRICE, PhillipWAL18-13
T6MOLINARI, EdoardoITA18-12
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