Padraig Harrington will take a share of the lead into the final round of the D+D Real Czech Masters after matching Andrea Pavan with a brilliant bogey-free 65 at Albatross Golf Resort.
The three-time Major Championship winner turns 47 at the end of the month but he went blow for blow with Pavan – who is 17 years his junior – in round three as the duo got to 17 under and opened up a three-shot lead over Malaysia’s Gavin Green.
Scotsman Scott Jamieson was at 13 under, a shot clear of Italy’s Nino Bertasio, Thai Phachara Khongwatmai and Finn Tapio Pulkkanen.
Harrington’s victory at the 2016 Portugal Masters was his first on the European Tour since the 2008 US PGA Championship but he will be going in search of a 16th win in an 11th country on Sunday. The performance represents a brilliant return to form for the Ryder Cup Vice Captain, who had made just one cut this season at the Italian Open before he arrived in Prague.
Italy’s Pavan is searching for his first European Tour victory but he has four wins on the Challenge Tour and finished top of its Rankings in 2013. His top ten at the Nordea Masters last week was his third of the season and he is enjoying an excellent campaign after regaining his playing privileges at the Qualifying School, sitting 53rd on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
Jacques Kruyswijk moved up eight places into a share of 16th place after a Saturday 6. A bogey on 17 leaves him eight off the pace to sit alongside countryman JC Ritchie.
Ritchie’s 67 moved him up almost 40 places and came in spite of bogeys on both of the front side’s par 5s.