Donald sets early target

Luke Donald made his move in the Verizon Heritage in South Carolina today as he posted an early low score to give the leaders something to think about at Harbour Town Golf Links.

The Englishman shot a third-round, six-under-par 65 to move onto the leaderboard having spent the second round trying to ensure he would make the cut.

Donald had opened the tournament on Hilton Head Island with a two-over 73 and carded a 70 yesterday to progress to the weekend at one over par, two strokes inside the cut line.

There was a big improvement today, though, as Donald, as he took advantage of calm conditions on the Atlantic coast, opened with a birdie and then bounced back from a bogey at the par-four third hole to collect six more birdies and move to five under for the tournament.

That left the European Ryder Cup player four shots in arrears of the overnight lead held by American Brian Gay, who was getting his third round under way in increasingly windy conditions alongside former Open champion Todd Hamilton, a shot behind the leader on eight under.

Starting one shot further back on seven under were Germany’s Alex Cejka and Lee Janzen of the United States while his compatriot Davis Love III and Rod Pampling of Australia joined them with early birdies, and Hamilton dropped into the group with a bogey at the par-four first.

Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal also began well as he looked to continue his strong start to the tournament.

Starting at three under par, the two-time Masters champion birdied the first and second holes and was five under after four holes.

England’s Greg Owen was two under for the day after seven holes at four under, alongside Charlie Wi of Korea and South African duo Trevor Immelman and Ernie Els, all of whom were approaching the turn.

Paul Casey finished on a high with an eagle three at the 15th to help him to a 69 which took the Englishman to one under for the tournament, but Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy continued to find Harbour Town a struggle.

The Dubai Desert Classic winner shot a one-over 72 to finish at two over for the week and yet to break par.

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