Leader pays for having a ball

Leader pays for having a ball

Pony-tailed Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez takes a three-stroke lead over Ryder Cup team-mate Edoardo Molinari into the final round of the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

And it would have been four but for a moment of absent-mindedness by the 46-year-old on the 10th fairway at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Jimenez momentarily forgot that placing was allowed only on the sixth hole and by picking up his ball incurred a one-shot penalty.

It turned his third round 67 into a 68 – the same as Molinari – and gave him a 17 under total.

If either of them goes on to take the €325,471 first prize that will make it four wins in a row for members of Colin Montgomerie’s side.

The run of success by “Monty’s Men” started when German Martin Kaymer lifted his first major at the US PGA Championship three weeks ago.

That was followed by Swede Peter Hanson capturing the Czech Open and then by Molinari grabbing the Johnnie Walker Championsip victory he probably needed to earn a wild card for next month’s match against the Americans at Celtic Manor.

"It's a pity," said Jimenez, thinking back to the incident at the 10th.

“I marked it and picked it up like it is preferred lies. Then I thought ’what are you doing?’

“But I’m still feeling good. It’s very difficult to follow up a really low score. Anything you do looks like you are doing nothing.”

That did not apply to his early golf as the Malaga golfer, making his 22nd successive trip to the Alpine resort, birdied four of the first eight holes.

But after the blunder on the 10th he also bogeyed the 12th and 14th before hitting back with birdies on the par five next and the 402-yard last, where he sank a 20-footer.

Molinari, hoping to make it back-to-back wins before he takes three weeks off to rest and then prepare for his cup debut alongside his brother Francesco, uncharacteristically lost his temper with a photographer on the seventh tee.

“After I hit -1 come on!” yelled the Italian, who nevertheless hit his tee shot on the driveable par four to within six feet of the flag.

He missed the eagle putt, birdied the next two as well to be out in 32 like Jimenez, but his only deviation from par on the way home was a four at the short 13th – his only bogey of the tournament so far.

One shot further back in joint third are his 17-year-old compatriot Matteo Manassero and England’s Steve Webster.

Ireland's Peter Lawrie is two shots further back on nine under while Darren Clarke is on eight under after scoring three under for the day, the same as his compatriot Gareth Maybin who is on five under. However, Michael Hoey had a disastrous day to end up on four over par.

More in this Section

Limerick's Paul Browne retires from inter-county hurling Limerick's Paul Browne retires from inter-county hurling

From the special one to the smiling one – a look at Jose Mourinho’s unveilingsFrom the special one to the smiling one – a look at Jose Mourinho’s unveilings

Disparities in sports grants allocated to clubs in middle-class and working-class areas Disparities in sports grants allocated to clubs in middle-class and working-class areas

Spurs can win Premier League title next season, says MourinhoSpurs can win Premier League title next season, says Mourinho


Lifestyle

This truck serves as an excellent metaphor for what needs to happen in our education system. A colossal truck needs to barge in front of it.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Time to ditch private schools

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Is it still ok to just lob the gob after 10 pints?

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

More From The Irish Examiner