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Lowry and Harrington in the hunt heading into the final round at the Portugal Masters

Dane Lucas Bjerregaard leads the way in Vilamoura.

Shane Lowry (file photo).
Shane Lowry (file photo).
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

LUCAS BJERRGAARD GAVE himself a golden opportunity to secure a first European Tour title by moving into a one-shot lead at the Portugal Masters.

The world number 287 shot a three-under 68 in his third round at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course to hold a slender advantage over George Coetzee.

Bjerregaard will start his final round on 14 under after making two birdies on the front nine and another three after the turn.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry remains in contention on 10 under par. The Offaly man, who won this tournament five years ago, shot a 70 yesterday to sit level with Jose-Filipe Lima, Sebatian Soderberg, Phachara Khongwatmai and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Reigning champion Padraig Harrington is two shots back from his compatriot after an even-par round on Saturday.

Golf: European Tour PGA Championship Leader Lucas Bjerregaard (file photo). Source: DPA/PA Images

Dane Bjerregaard lost his way with bogeys at 11 and 14, but two gains in his last four holes ensured the 26-year-old, striving to retain his playing privileges, is the man to catch in Sunday’s final round.

“It feels good,” he said. ”It’s been a rough year for me so to be in contention again feels really good.

“I played well in Switzerland two weeks ago and I’ve been seeing my game go in the right direction the last month or so, so to be in contention is great. I’m in a place where I’m still building confidence, but it feels good.”

Coetzee’s 67 left him just one stroke shy of the summit, while overnight leader Nino Bertasio sits on 12 under alongside Eddie Pepperell and Marc Warren.

An eagle at the 17th was a major tonic for Coetzee, eyeing his fourth European Tour title and a first this year.

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