Morrison remains on course in Madeira

4/10/2010 6:23:08 PM
James Morrison  (Getty Images)
James Morrison (Getty Images)

James Morrison will take a three shot lead into the final round of the Madeira Islands Open BPI - Portugal as he looks for a maiden European Tour title.

The Challenge Tour graduate picked up six shots on an inward 30 for a round of 66, putting the Englishman 18 under par for the week.

"I started off pretty slowly but it was very windy early on and I said to my caddie I've just got to keep playing well, keep hitting good shots and keep trying to put pressure on everyone around me," said Morrison.

"I think I was level par through nine and I'd had a couple of good putts to save par towards the end of the front nine. I said to myself just keep playing well. It's a lot windier so there are few holes that are tricky. But I stuck to what I was doing and kept making birdies on the back nine so it was good."

Despite being in unfamiliar territory - a win would be Morrison's first on Tour - the 25 year old insists he will stick to his formula.

"The game plan will be same as always," he added. "This is my first time being this far ahead in a European Tour event but I've had some good finishes since the start of the year - fourth at the Africa Open and sixth in AndalucĂ­a - so I've played under the gun already this year and I'm feeling very comfortable.

"Obviously tomorrow is going to be a completely different kettle of fish but I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing, same clubs, same routine, same course management, same everything. I've still got to play well. Three shots is nothing in golf. If I make a bogey and he makes a birdie, the next thing you know you're only one ahead.

"I know Ollie Fisher is six behind me and he's such a good player. He showed that today shooting 65. I've just got to stick to my game, and another 66 will be just fine!"

George Murray remains Morrison's nearest challenger. In only his seventh European Tour event the Scot shot a third round 68 to go 15 under for the week.

England's Oliver Fisher moved into a distant third with a 65 leaving him 12 under, one ahead of father-to-be Simon Thornton.

Murray refused to be despondent despite seeing playing partner Morrison extend his advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

"James played really nicely to be fair to him," he said. "Tomorrow I've just got to go out and do the same, not get carried away and keep hitting nice shots."

Fisher's seven under round was the best of the day as he looks to regain his European Tour playing privileges at the first attempt.

"I really got going on the back nine and birdied six of the last seven, including five in a row from the 12th which was very pleasing," he said.

"It has put me up there but James is playing really well and is quite a way ahead. I'll just keep doing what I've been doing today and hopefully I can put some pressure on him tomorrow."