Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

McGrane sets the standard

Damien McGrane recorded three birdies and no bogeys to reach eight under par at Kennemer Golf Club

Ireland's Damien McGrane defied the miserable conditions to card a superb 67 and set the clubhouse target in the third round of the KLM Open in Zandvoort.

McGrane, whose sole European Tour victory to date in the 2008 China Open was achieved in similar wet and windy weather, recorded three birdies and no bogeys to reach eight under par at Kennemer Golf Club.

The 42-year-old began the day four shots off the lead, but with the leaders getting the worst of the conditions he was just one off the lead when he reached the sanctuary of the clubhouse.

Home favourite Joost Luiten, France's Julien Quesne and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez shared the lead on nine under, Luiten having chipped in twice for birdie and Quesne carding 14 pars and just one birdie so far.

Jimenez had shared the overnight lead with compatriot Pablo Larrazabal, but Larrazabal's bid for a third European Tour title got off to a start as miserable as the weather.

The 30-year-old ran up a triple-bogey seven on the opening hole and also dropped a shot on the fifth, and although he birdied the seventh another bogey on the 13th left him four off the lead.

Jimenez had topped his third shot on the par-five second but rescued a par with a superb pitch, only to bogey the next after missing the green with his tee shot and failing to get up and down.

The 49-year-old, already the oldest winner in European Tour history after his win in the Hong Kong Open aged 48 and 318 days last November, had to wait until the 13th for his first birdie of the day, but that was enough to reclaim a share of the lead.

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