Rafael Cabrera-Bello Francisco Seco/AP/Press Association Images
Birdie Time

Irish drop back as Cabrera-Bello takes charge

Rafael Cabrera-Bello was in sizzling form at the Portugal Masters on Saturday with Shane Lowry best of the Irish.

An eight-under-par round of 64 has seen Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello take a one-shot lead at the Portugal Masters.

The low scoring seen over the opening two days of golf continued on Saturday and Cabrera-Bello included two eagles – on the fifth and 12th – on his card, along with five birdies and a bogey, for a 18-under-par tally of 198.

The main challenge on Sunday will come from Swede Christian Nilsson, who had a 66, and Felipe Aguilar of Chile (67) as both men are one stroke back on -17. Peter Hanson and Thomas Bjorn share fourth after finishing up on -16.

Best of the Irish is Shane Lowry, who followed up his superb 66 with a three-under-par effort of 69. Birdies on the fifth, 15th and 17th were not enough for him to gain any ground on the leaders, however, and he remains four shots off the pace.

It was also a decent day out on the course for Padraig Harrington. The three-time Major winner lies on -11 and in a tie for 18th after a flawless round of 67. He picked up four shots on the front nine to go out in 32 but could only managed one more birdie on his way back to the clubhouse.

Peter Lawrie, well placed overnight, had a 71 to show for his efforts and is now eight off the pace on ten-under, while Damien McGrane is in a share for 47th on -8.

It was a day to forget for Gary Murphy, however. After rounds of 67 and 72 on Thursday and Friday, the County Louth golfer had a ten-over-par round of 82 on Saturday – including two double bogeys and six other dropped shots.

READ – Simpson chasing happy ending at Disney

READ – Sean Óg back in Cork fold but Jerry O’Connor calls it a day