• Herbert in front, Saffas off the pace

    Lucas Herbert
    A big Sunday looms for the Aussie

    Lucas Herbert recorded his best ever 54-hole score on the European Tour to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Portugal Masters.

    The Australian carded a 64 to get to 19 under at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course and lead the way from England’s Tom Lewis, who signed for his lowest ever European Tour round with a stunning 61.

    The total was Herbert’s best after three rounds by seven shots and his best outside his homeland by 12 as he aims to become the first wire-to-wire winner since Matt Wallace at last season’s Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort.

    The 22-year-old is playing off invites this season but has a great chance to earn his playing privileges, sitting 103rd in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex after four top 10s.

    ‘I think this week is as close to the A-game as we get,’ he said. ‘Some good confidence going into tomorrow and hopefully that form sticks around. In the position I want to be in so not much more we can do.’

    Richard Sterne is South Africa’s highest-placed competitor but finds himself nine shots off the pace. A third successive round in the sixties was marred by two late drops en route to a 68.

    Saturday 67s have George Coetzee and Haydn Porteous one behind their countryman.

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