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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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Harrington's strong form continues as 65 puts him in contention at KLM Open

The 47-year-old is three shots behind leader Chris Wood heading into the final round.

Harrington has enjoyed another good week.
Harrington has enjoyed another good week.
Image: Getty Images

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON SURGED up the leaderboard on moving day at the KLM Open, to move within three shots of the lead heading into Sunday’s final round.

The 47-year-old continued his strong end-of-season form on Saturday, carding eight birdies to sign for a six-under par 65 and sit within striking distance of leader Chris Wood. 

Harrington is bidding to record his first tournament win since October 2016 and after a brush with glory at the Czech Masters at the end of last month, is right in the mix again in the Netherlands. 

The Dubliner will, however, be disappointed with his bogey-finish at the par-five 18th as he had to settle for a share of sixth position alongside Scotland’s David Drysdale ahead of the final round.

Wood produced an impressive third-round 65 to seize the lead as Wu Ashun, leader after each of the first two rounds, faltered.

The Englishman now sits at 13-under at The Dutch, leading a chasing pack containing Wu, Hideto Tanihara and compatriot Jonathan Thomson by one shot.

Wood was one-over through five on moving day, but responded in style by reeling off seven birdies over the next 13 holes to finish six-under for the round and seize a narrow advantage.

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Wood, a three-time winner on the European Tour who has a pair of second-place finishes to his name this season.

“My target was 15-under for the tournament so I’m going to look a little bit differently at that now. I’ll take another 65 tomorrow if you offer it me now.”

China’s Wu had been on fire on Thursday and Friday with scores of 64 and 66 — his best 36-hole effort on the European Tour — but he struggled to a level-par round of 71 in Spijk on a day where his rivals had no problems with scoring, meaning his three-shot lead evaporated.

Japan’s Tanihara is also right in the mix after charging from eight shots off the pace at the start of the day to within one of Wood with a magnificent, birdie-free 63 that matched the course record.

Also in contention going into Sunday is fifth-placed Richard McEvoy at 11-under, while Drysdale and Harrington are three shots off the lead.

Thomas Detry tied Tanihara for the best round of the day – his 63 containing nine birdies – and he sits at nine under par along with Andy Sullivan as a result.

Li Haotong and Jordan Smith are a further shot back.

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