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Bubble boys set for one final test

Bubble boys set for one final test

Oliver Fisher carded four consecutive birdies on the back nine to keep himself in contention for victory at the Portugal Masters and all but assure his playing privileges for 2020.

Oliver Fisher

The Englishman entered the week at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course placed 112th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex - with the top 115 guaranteed their cards for next season - and had moved up to a provisional 54th as he took the halfway lead.

A hat-trick of bogeys from the fifth on moving day saw him tumble down the leaderboard and the Rankings but he bounced back in style, rattling off four gains in a row from the 12th.

That moved him back within two of the lead and up to a provisional 76th in the season long standings, meaning he can now switch his focus to a second European Tour victory on a layout where he fired a history making 59 last season.

"I stuck with it and kept patient," he said. "The big thing today was a poor shot into 11 but I made a great up-and-down there. That was a big putt and then the drive on 12 and three wood got me going.

"When you have days where you feel like you’re not getting anything out of it you need to get a spark going, 11 and 12 helped me out.

Steven Brown

"I’m looking forward to tomorrow, it should be a good final round."

Countryman Steven Brown equalled the round of the day with a 65 to move into fourth but he still has work to do to stay on Tour.

The 32-year-old entered the week at 150th on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex and was feeling relaxed with 18 holes remaining to push himself higher than his provisional position of 124th.

"I need to have such a good week to keep my card that it might have relaxed me a little bit and it’s me getting ready for Tour School and building my confidence for that," he said. "It’s a good job I’ve got another day."

Justin Walters started the week 121st on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex and was up to a provisional 103rd in a tie for fifth in Vilamoura.

The South African finished second here to keep his card in 2013 just weeks after his mother passed away, and he sadly also lost his father this summer.

That has allowed him to keep things in perspective as he continues a strong finish to his season.

"I’ve given myself a chance, what else can you ask?," he said. "A few weeks ago going into Italy I was looking at a year off. Here I am one round away with a chance to salvage something and that’s something to be proud of.

"It’s about finding a bit of perspective after the loss of my dad. I just felt lost, I was trying to get too much out of the game and looking at that to solve my problems and issues. 

"I just needed to look at myself a little harder and settle down a little bit and come back to the golf course and enjoy it and stay more in the present. I was too far ahead or too far behind and not even on the golf course. 

"The last few weeks I’ve kept present and focused and taken it one shot at a time."

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