Magical McGowan leads in Madrid

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Ross McGowan is in sight of his first European Tour title after an amazing third round of 60 at the Madrid Masters on Saturday.

Former English amateur champion Ross McGowan is in sight of his first European Tour title after an amazing third round of 60 at the Madrid Masters on Saturday.
The 27-year-old from Surrey is a massive seven shots clear with 18 holes to go at Centro Nacional after Sergio Garcia fell away badly in front of his home fans.
McGowan had two eagles, 10 birdies and two bogeys to establish easily the biggest 54-hole lead of the year on the circuit. The previous biggest was four strokes.
Playing alongside him, world number eight Garcia – joint halfway leader with Scot David Drysdale – bogeyed four of the last seven holes to crash to ninth place, 10 behind.
Drysdale, meanwhile, managed “only” a 69 to leave England’s Danny Willett and Frenchman Michael Lorenzo-Vera in joint second place.
It was the second 60 on the European Tour in under a month, but unlike the one by Rafael Cabrera-Bello to win the Austrian Open, McGowan’s will not go down in the record books as placing was allowed on the fairways.
Already in eighth place in the Ryder Cup points race, McGowan said: “I can’t believe it really.
“I just played my own game and didn’t think about the score until I hit the second shot to the 18th.
“Then I thought ‘Hang on – that was for 59′.”
He hit it 18 feet past the flag and made the putt for his second eagle.
The world number 177 stands 24 under par and the Tour record for 72 holes is Ernie Els’ 29 under at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia six years ago.
McGowan, third in Switzerland at the start of last month and sixth in the Alfred Dunhill Links in Scotland last Monday, has now broken 70 in 10 of his last 11 rounds.
“I don’t feel like I’m going to miss a shot unless I’m in the rough or get a silly lie,” he added.
There was no hint of the collapse to come when Garcia began with back-to-back birdies and turned in 32.
That still left him one behind as McGowan covered the front nine in 30, but Garcia, yet to win this year and down from second in the world to eighth, bogeyed the 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th.
Drysdale took over as the closest challenger, but his hopes of a maiden Tour win nose-dived when he also dropped shots on the 16th and 17th while McGowan played the last four in five under.
Willett fired a 66 to move up from sixth, while Lorenzo-Vera’s 64 took him alongside him in second spot from 10th – and could save his Tour career.
He is 133rd on the money list and needs to climb into the top 115.
McGowan’s 24 under was one better than the Tour all-time record after 54 holes, although preferred lies were in operation for all three rounds and will be again on the last day.
All the third round scores & totals in the European Tour Madrid Masters, Centro National de Golf, Madrid, Spain.
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

192 Ross McGowan 66 66 60
199 Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 69 66 64, Danny Willett 66 67 66
200 David Drysdale 66 65 69, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 74 63 63
201 Jorge Campillo (Spa) 67 66 68, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 71 65 65, Emanuele Canonica (Ita) 67 65 69
202 Gary Murphy 67 65 70, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 64 67 71
203 Anthony Wall 66 67 70, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 70 69 64, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 69 65
204 Alvaro Salto (Spa) 69 67 68, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 70 68 66, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 74 63 67, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 71 67 66
205 Scott Drummond 68 70 67, Simon Khan 68 68 69, Oliver Fisher 65 74 66, Alexander Noren (Swe) 71 67 67, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 72 67 66, Luke Donald 71 69 65, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa) 69 70 66, Manuel Quiros (Spa) 62 73 70
206 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 69 68 69, Damien McGrane 67 71 68, Alvaro Velasco (Spa) 72 67 67, Gareth Maybin 70 68 68, Marcel Siem (Ger) 67 68 71, David Horsey 66 71 69, Phillip Price 70 69 67, Maarten Lafeber (Ned) 69 70 67, Gary Lockerbie 68 70 68, Sam Little 68 70 68
207 Francois Delamontagne (Fra) 70 66 71, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 69 67 71, David Lynn 67 70 70, Paul Broadhurst 71 66 70, Seve Benson 70 69 68, Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 68 67 72, Shane Lowry 71 63 73, Barry Lane 68 71 68, Bradley Dredge 69 69 69
208 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned) 69 69 70, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 71 69 68, Peter Lawrie 69 67 72, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 69 68 71, Stephen Dodd 70 69 69, Santiago Luna (Spa) 70 70 68, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 69 67 72, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 70 67 71, Pablo Martin (Spa) 70 67 71
209 Richard Bland 72 67 70, Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa) 75 65 69, Marc Warren 70 68 71, Paul Lawrie 70 70 69, Luis Claverie (Spa) 69 71 69, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 71 68 70
210 Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 69 69 72, Michael Hoey 69 69 72
211 Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 70 69 72, Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 69 71 71, Paul Waring 69 69 73, Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 72 67 72, Michael Jonzon (Swe) 71 69 71, Steven O’Hara 71 68 72, Mark Brown (Nzl) 68 72 71
212 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 70 69 73, Robert Dinwiddie 72 66 74, Lee Slattery 68 68 76, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 71 67 74
216 Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra) 70 69 77

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