Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma made a solid start with three birdies in the first five holes, but failed to keep the momentum going and carded a modest one-under 71 in the third round to lie tied 40th at the Portugal Masters. Sharma, who had rallied in the second round with a 67, is now at five-under 214 with one more round left in the tournament.
South Africa's George Coetzee will start the final round in search of a fifth European Tour title as he finished with a one shot lead on Saturday. He produced a remarkable eagle-birdie finish on day three to sign for an impressive 66 and move to 11-under par. Sharma birdied the second, fourth and fifth but dropped a shot in between on third for a front nine of two-under 34. A birdie each on 12th and 18th with bogeys on 14th and 15th meant the Indian had an even par back nine for a total of 70.
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Coetzee, who won on the Sunshine Tour at Pretoria Country Club last week, had started the day eight strokes behind Julien Guerrier but the Frenchman's five stroke overnight advantage turned into a one shot deficit after he failed to make a single birdie in his four over par 75. The 34-year-old reached the turn in 34 shots after sandwiching a bogey on the seventh between birdies at the fourth and eighth.
After taking advantage of the par four 15th for the third day in a row, Coetzee came agonisingly close to holing his approach into the long 17th for an albatross but had to settle for a tap-in eagle to climb to 10-under. He finished off with a confident 12 foot birdie putt to get to 11-under. Niklas Lemke and Laurie Canter shared the fourth place on nine-under after firing rounds of 65 and 68 respectively.