Goya gains narrow lead

Estanislao Goya led by one shot at the halfway point of the third round at the Madeira Island Open BPI-Portugal at Porto Santo today.

Estanislao Goya led by one shot at the halfway point of the third round at the Madeira Island Open BPI-Portugal at Porto Santo today.

The Argentinian started the day a shot off overnight leader Michael Hoey, but took advantage of his rivals’ slip-ups to move to seven under as he reached the turn one under for the day.

That lead was three shots at one point, but Hoey recovered from a shaky start to post back-to-back birdies at the eighth and ninth to increase the pressure on Goya.

Michael McGeady and Joakim Haeggman all dropped shots on the front nine, allowing Goya to streak in front with consecutive birdies at the par-three fifth and the par-five sixth countering a bogey at the fourth.

Haeggman made a solid start with pars on his opening four holes but a double-bogey at the fifth blotted an otherwise flawless front nine to leave him four under.

Hoey, a former British amateur champion, quickly relinquished his lead this morning by dropping a shot at the first hole and despite birdieing the second, he dropped two shots at the par-four third.

Two birdies towards the halfway point narrowed the gap behind Goya, but heading in the other direction was Irishman McGeady.

He had to be content with joint second place overnight after a double-bogey at the last yesterday, and he began his third round in similar fashion by dropping four shots in two holes at three and four.

A subsequent birdie and bogey gave him a 39 going out, leaving him two under overall.

Spaniard Carlos Rodiles, who briefly held the course record yesterday before his 65 was outdone by Richard Bland’s 64, was also in the mix having reached the turn level par for the day, four under for the tournament.

Callum Macaulay of Scotland found some form to fire four birdies and an eagle in a four-under-par 67, which followed two 74s to leave him two under.

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