Huldahl leads after spectacular round

10/16/2010 12:47:23 PM
Jeppe Huldahl  (Getty Images)
Jeppe Huldahl (Getty Images)

Jeppe Huldahl equalled the European Tour record of 12 birdies in a round including seven in succession as the Dane surged into the third round clubhouse lead at the Portugal Masters.

The former Celtic Manor Wales Open champion started the day nine shots behind halfway leader Maarten Lafeber having birdied his two closing holes last night just to make the cut. But he turned in an impressive five under par 31 before dropping a shot at the tenth.

The 28 year old then went on a magnificent birdie blitz, which only came to a halt with a par four at the difficult closing hole.

Huldahl's 11 under par 61 - the best round of the week - moved him to 15 under at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course.

It was a remarkable turnaround for a man who, on Thursday, ran up a quadruple bogey eight on the seventh after some confusion over whether his ball had entered a hazard and was four over at the turn in his first round as a result.

"Should have only cost me two, but I lost my head, as well, so it cost me four I guess," Huldahl said of Thursday's incident. "It was a rough start.

"With two to go yesterday, I had a feeling I had to birdie the last two, and got in. And then this morning, figured well, just go with the same mind set and think about birdies and sort of just happened.

"I didn't putt particularly well the first two rounds. And today, I just sort of started seeing the lines again, and started on it with the right pace and just dropped in the middle every time."

With Lafeber level par for the day through ten holes, it was Oliver Wilson who moved into a share of the clubhouse lead when he signed for a seven under 65.

The Englishman's bogey free round put him right in the hunt for a first European Tour title - something that is long overdue for the former Ryder Cup star after nine runner-up finishes on The European Tour.

Spain's Pablo Martin joined the leading duo on 15 under - he still had seven holes remaining - thanks largely to eagles at both par fives on the front nine.

South African Thomas Aiken was one behind in the clubhouse having posted a 65, and he was joined by Finn Mikko Ilonen, who had briefly shared the lead after following a 15 foot birdie putt at the fourth with one from similar range for eagle at the next, only to double bogey the eighth.