Jamie Donaldson remains on course to earn a spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team despite losing his overnight lead in the Czech Masters to Bradley Dredge, who shot a flawless sic-under 66 yesterday to take a two-stroke lead after the third round.
Dredge’s fellow Welshman Donaldson finished on 71 to sit tied for second with Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark.
Donaldson needs a top-seven finish to guarantee a spot in next month’s match against the United States. Yesterday, he opened with an eagle on the par-5 first hole but had a double bogey on the eighth and three more bogeys in his worst round of the tournament.
Stephen Gallacher, another Ryder Cup hopeful, also carded a 71 to sit four shots back.
Dredge, seeking his third European Tour victory, produced six birdies for an overall 12-under 204 at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague.
“It wasn’t my best ball-striking round but it was a good scoring round, that’s for sure,” said Dredge, who finished second last week at the Made In Denmark event. “I’ve had no bogeys since the first day and it’s nice when you do that. All the birdies count then and I’ve been delighted with the last two rounds so if I can do that again tomorrow I would be over the moon.”
In the Barclays PGA Tour play-off event in New Jersey, Rory McIlroy fought back from a frustrating first-round 74 to post a second-round 65 and put himself back into contention.
The world No 1 surged to three under overall, to trail Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale by five shots.
McIlroy admitted afterwards that he had but in extra practice after his first round. “The work that I did on the range after really helped, just sort of got back into the rhythm and into the flow of things,” he said.