Portugal Masters: George Coetzee takes one-shot lead into final round


George Coetzee came within inches of an albatross on the 17th of his third round
George Coetzee came within inches of an albatross on the 17th of his third round
-11 G Coetzee (SA); -10 J Guerrier (Fra), M Kawamura (Jpn); -9 L Canter (Eng), N Lemke (Swe); -8 L Johnston (Sco), K Sihwan (USA), S Garcia Rodriguez (Spa); -7 L Bjerregaard (Den), J Lagergren (Swe), J Catlin (USA); Selected others: -6 T Fleetwood (Eng); -3 J Donaldson (Wal); -1 S Gallacher (Sco)

George Coetzee’s eagle-birdie finish gave him a one-shot lead for the Portugal Masters final day as he eyes a second successive victory.

The South African, who began eight shots behind halfway leader Julien Guerrier, produced a marvellous 66 to move to 11 under par.

Guerrier and Masahiro Kawamura are the closest challengers, with Niklas Lemke and England’s Laurie Canter two adrift.

Scot Liam Johnston is also in the hunt, one of three players on eight under.

Coetzee, who arrived in Vilamoura after winning the Titleist Championship in Pretoria on the Sunshine Tour last week, came agonisingly close to holing his approach into the long 17th for an albatross.

“It would have been nice, he said. “I was fortunate enough to be right next to Laurie [Canter] and he hit six iron rather smooth, so it made it an easy decision for me to lift the seven iron and it ended up being the perfect club.”

World number 16 Tommy Fleetwood is five shots behind Coetzee after making four birdies in a row on his back nine to sign for a 68.



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