Donaldson gives himself chance to break duck as big guns misfire

Jamie Donaldson, still to taste European Tour success after 237 events over a decade, takes a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

The 35-year-old Welshman must overcome a stiff challenge if he is to break his duck. One behind him is Lee Westwood after the world No 2 shot a best-of-the-day 64, and two back is the US Open champion Rory McIlroy, who had bogeys at two of his last three holes.

Donaldson was a worthy intruder in the clash of the giants, after grabbing four birdies in the closing six holes for a 65 and 14-under-par total of 199.

"It will be awesome going up against two of the best players in the world at the moment," Donaldson said.

After partnering Luke Donald and Paul Casey to second place in the world amateur team championship in 2000, he suffered a serious back injury and had to go back to the qualifying school five years ago. Last season, though, he had no fewer than nine top-10 finishes and is poised now to break back into the world's top 100.

McIlroy felt he let himself down. "It was not the greatest way to finish," he said after three-putting the 16th and going over the green from a fairway bunker at the 17th despite taking an iron off the tee for safety.

One of four joint-overnight leaders, he had jumped into a two-stroke advantage with a 30-foot eagle putt from the fringe of the seventh green.

He stayed out in front by matching Westwood's birdies at the 14th and 15th, but now is playing catch-up again.

"I'm still in there with a chance and I'll be looking for a fast start and putting a bit of pressure on the boys," the Northern Irishman added. "I feel the way my game is there's a 61 or 62 out there."

Three years ago he was four clear with a round to go, but lost in a play-off after missing from five feet on the final green and from barely two feet at the second extra hole against France's Jean-Francois Lucquin.

Westwood finished off a front nine 31 with four successive birdies, but his only gains on the inward half came at the two par fives.

He is fighting a head cold which he said was affecting his balance. "I played only six holes the last two weeks, which is not really the right preparation. It was nice not to have any fives on the card and no bogeys, especially on this course because it can trip you up."

Thomas Bjorn, a winner last week, and England's Gary Boyd are only three behind – Bjorn triumphed at Gleneagles from the same position – but it was a bad day for Nick Dougherty and Simon Dyson.

First-round leader Dougherty, whose 63 set him up to make his first cut in 22 starts going back to last November, fell from one behind to 25th on six under with a second successive 72, while joint halfway leader Dyson slumped to a 74 and all the way to 34th on five under.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week