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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Tom Lewis  (Getty Images)
Tom Lewis (Getty Images)

Tom Lewis admitted the thought of a second 59 in as many days crossed his mind as he carded a brilliant 61 to get right into contention heading into the final round of the Portugal Masters.

The European Tour had waited 46 years and over 690,000 rounds before Lewis' fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher broke the 60 barrier on Friday and Lewis had a chance to follow suit in round three at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.

The 27 year old began the week with a 72 but has birdied 18 of his 36 holes since and a tenth birdie of the day on the 17th left him needing an eagle two at the last on Saturday.

In the end he had to settle for a par that sealed his lowest ever European Tour round and sent him into the final day just two shots behind Australian Lucas Herbert.

“Great on Oli yesterday,” he said. “I had an opportunity out there to actually do that, it's something that I noticed with three holes to go. I wasn't that bothered at the end of the day.

“I'm pleased that I shot ten under par and put myself in there tomorrow. I can only continue to make birdies and see what happens tomorrow.”

Lewis has fond memories of Vilamoura having won his first and so far only European Tour title here in 2011 in just his third start as a professional.

After a recent win on the Challenge Tour, he is certainly full of confidence and feels he knows what to do to get over the line again.

“When I won here I remember going out and not even thinking about winning,” he said. “I just played my own golf and ended up winning by a couple. It will be different tomorrow because I think I'll be closer to the lead.

“It just depends on how comfortable I feel. My game hasn't been brilliant this week because it's my sixth week in a row, it's a lot for me. I think if I get the drives on the fairways I'm going to be around the pins. I'm rolling the ball well at the moment so they seem to be going in.”

We'll see what tomorrow brings but I feel certainly pretty good in myself - Eddie Pepperell

Marcus Kinhult looked on course to be another player to go very low at six under after seven holes but he could not pick up any further shots in a 65 that left him two shots behind Lewis.

The Swede is 53rd on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex after regaining his card via the Challenge Tour last season and is looking for a big finish to secure his place at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

“I haven't won yet so it would mean the world to me to win here, of course,” he said. “I would secure my spot for Dubai, I guess, and all of that, so there is a lot of good things that come with a win but there are still 18 holes to go.

“Lots of birdies still need to be made so we'll see. I hope I can post a good round tomorrow again and we'll see what happens.”

Eddie Pepperell is also at 15 under after a 68 and he knows what it is like to win on the European Tour after his triumph at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

He looked on course for title number two before Brandon Stone carded a brilliant 60 to win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open in the summer and he is hoping to channel that belief on Sunday.

“I've felt very comfortable in myself all week,” he said. “Qatar was great but actually it was probably Scotland and the Open where I took the most confidence from.

“Scottish Open I felt very comfortable leading on the Sunday - okay, I didn't win - but I felt like I was very comfortable being in that position and I felt like I was going to win all the way through.

“I just haven't quite matched the game to maybe that mindset or expectation this week so far but it's not been bad. We'll see what tomorrow brings but I feel certainly pretty good in myself.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LEWIS, TomENG18-22
T2PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-19
T2HERBERT, LucasAUS18-19
T4LEE, SoominKOR18-17
T4KINHULT, MarcusSWE18-17
6LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-16

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