Donaldson heading for first win?

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Jamie Donaldson has a one-stroke lead over Anthony Wall after the third round of the Irish Open at Portrush.

Jamie Donaldson has a one-stroke lead over Anthony Wall after the third round of the Irish Open while Padraig Harrington and Mark Foster are tied for third.

Welshman Donaldson, still searching for his first European Tour win after 254 starts, carded a three-under par 69 to move to 12-under for the tournament while Wall shot a five-under for the day.

After an opening hole bogey, Donaldson made an eagle and three birdies on the front nine. He added two more bogeys and a birdie on the back nine to settle for a tidy three-under for the round.

The 36-year-old, who has 32 top-10 finishes in his Tour career, hopes to finally break his duck come Sunday evening.

“I’ve had a few chances, but at the end of the day I’ve not been good enough so far to stand on the last green holding the trophy,” he said.

“You’ve got to keep trying and it’s one shot at a time, one hole at a time.

“The only person I am playing against, I suppose, is myself. I’ve got to stay out of my own way.

“Obviously Padraig is a class player, but it’s me versus me really.”

Wall, who has one win in 401 European Tour events, birdied three of the first four holes and then on the long ninth into the wind struck “the best drive and three-wood I’ve ever hit”.

After two-putting to turn in 32 and bogeying at six, he added further birdies at the 11th and 17th.

Three-time major winner and 2007 champion Harrington, though, remains the big danger for the two as the Irishman shot an even par to finish third with Foster.

Paul Waring, making his first appearance on the European Tour after a year out due to wrist surgery and nerve problems, finds himself three nine-under after one-over for the day.

Open champion Darren Clarke, upbeat after making his first halfway cut of the year, reached seven under with a birdie-eagle start, but finished at three-under.

World number two Rory McIlroy finished is at six-under while Graeme McDowell is two shots back after a one-over par.

France’s Gregory Bourdy had a day to forget as he sunk down the leaderboard, finishing with an eight-over-par 80 on Saturday.

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