Resurrection beckons for Jamie Donaldson in Cyprus

Cormac Sharvin suffered a quadruple bogey eight to slip back down the leaderboard

Jamie Donaldson of Wales tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open at Aphrodite Hills Resort in Paphos, Cyprus. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Jamie Donaldson of Wales tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open at Aphrodite Hills Resort in Paphos, Cyprus. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

 

Jamie Donaldson will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open as he looks to complete a remarkable comeback six years on from sealing the winning point for Europe at the Ryder Cup.

Cormac Sharvin – the lone Irish player to make the cut – was putting together a nice third round with birdies at the 10th and 11th after nine straight pars to start. However, a disastrous quadruple bogey eight at the Par 4 16th saw him tumble down the leaderboard and, while he did answer back with a birdie at the next, he was left to sign for a one over par round of 72 and a total of five under which leaves him in a tie for 45th.

After claiming a third win in as many seasons at the Czech Masters to seal his place on Paul McGinley’s team in 2014, Donaldson’s approach into the 15th at Gleneagles in the singles finished a foot from the hole, bringing a concession from Keegan Bradley and securing the vital point as Europe won 16.5-11.5.

The Welshman finished fourth on the Race to Dubai that season but has not made the top 45 since, losing his card in 2018 and missing seven months due to wrist surgery at the end of that campaign.

The 45-year-old is now on the European Tour due to a medical extension and playing on an invite in Paphos this week, but a third-round 69 had him at 14 under and in pole position to claim a first victory since lifting the trophy in Prague six years ago.

“I’m just working hard, really,” he told europeantour.com. “I’m not getting any younger so it’s a case of just deciding what you want to do, and what I want to do is play golf.

“It’s a case of working really hard to get back to playing decent again and contending, which is what I’m doing now and it’s great. I was really happy with the way I’ve been playing recently, it’s just a case now of getting match fit towards winning tournaments again, which I’m doing, getting better all the time again.

“It just took a long time after the wrist injury. You think it’s going to be quite quick and it just took a long time. Even when I was back playing, I wasn’t ready, but you don’t know that until now and now it’s good. We just keep going.

“I played nicely today, have played good for three rounds. Tomorrow is the most important day, so tomorrow is the day I need to produce my best golf if I’m going to win. There are a lot of guys up there. I just need to go out there and play as well as I can play.”

Donaldson made his fifth birdie of the day on the last to go alongside three bogeys and move him ahead of Scot David Drysdale, Englishman Marcus Armitage, Belgian Thomas Detry and Finnish pair Kalle Samooja and Sami Valimaki.

Drysdale also birdied the last as he got up and down from the putting green in a round of 68 and a win on Sunday would come in his 509th event, matching the longest wait for a first European Tour victory alongside Englishman Malcolm Mackenzie’s triumph at the 2002 French Open.

“Obviously, I’ve been out here a long time, I haven’t won,” Drysdale said. “I won a couple of tournaments on Challenge Tour.

“I haven’t had that many opportunities, you need to try to seize the opportunities, they have been few and far between.

“I remember Malcolm Mackenzie’s win at Paris National. I don’t believe in fate, but it would be nice if it happened.”

English pair Jordan Smith and Callum Shinkwin and Scot Robert MacIntyre were in the group at 12 under, with 26 players within five shots of the lead.

Collated third round scores & totals in the European Tour Cyprus Open Aphrodite Hills Resort, Paphos, Cyprus (British unless stated, par 71):

199 Jamie Donaldson 65 65 69

200 Marcus Armitage 66 64 70, David Drysdale 65 67 68, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 70 66 64, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 65 67 68, Thomas Detry (Bel) 66 67 67

201 Jeff Winther (Den) 68 68 65, Callum Shinkwin 67 66 68, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 68 66 67, Robert Macintyre 68 67 66, Jordan Smith 67 66 68

202 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 67 66 69, Adrien Saddier (Fra) 67 69 66, Dale Whitnell 68 68 66, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 67 67 68

203 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 70 66 67, Andy Sullivan 65 69 69, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 69 69 65, Johannes Veerman (USA) 64 69 70, James Morrison 68 69 66

204 Joel Stalter (Fra) 65 71 68, Matthew Jordan 69 67 68, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 69 67 68, Clement Sordet (Fra) 66 68 70, Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 68 68 68, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 68 70 66

205 Mitch Waite 64 70 71, David Horsey 66 69 70, Aaron Cockerill (Can) 69 66 70

206 Wil Besseling (Ned) 67 67 72, Paul Waring 68 69 69, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez (Spa) 69 68 69, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 68 68 70, Romain Langasque (Fra) 70 69 67, Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 69 67 70, Scott Vincent (Zim) 68 68 70, Gregory Havret (Fra) 69 69 68

207 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 71 68 68, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 73 65 69, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 69 69 69, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 70 66 71, Dave Coupland 69 68 70, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 71 66 70, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 66 69 72

208 Cormac Sharvin (NIrl) 69 67 72, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 69 68 71, Matthew Southgate 68 69 71, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 69 70 69, Julian Suri (USA) 70 65 73, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 66 72 70, Calum Hill 69 69 70, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 69 64 75

209 Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 69 69 71, Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 69 69 71, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 69 69 71, Joost Luiten (Ned) 70 68 71, Richard McEvoy 66 66 77, Ricardo Santos (Por) 69 69 71, Grant Forrest 69 69 71, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 67 73

210 Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 72 67 71, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 66 70 74

211 Laurie Canter 67 72 72, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 69 68 74, Ashun Wu (Chn) 68 71 72, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 68 70 73

212 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 69 70 73

213 Carlos Pigem (Spa) 69 70 74

214 Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 68 67 79

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