Michael Hoey has poor third round at Open de Espana

Michael Hoey
Michael Hoey

Michael Hoey is two under after the third round of the the Open de Espana after hitting a three over par 75 on Saturday.

It was a disappointing day for the Northern Ireland golfer after he had performed well in the opening two rounds.

But Sergio Garcia insisted he stood a chance of winning after a third-round 67 saw him close to within five shots of the lead during Saturday.

Pre-tournament favourite Garcia faced an uphill struggle to simply make the halfway cut after a slow start on Friday, but recovered sufficiently on the back nine to card a level-par 72 and qualify with a shot to spare at El Prat.

And the Spaniard’s comeback continued as he recorded a five-under-par third round to have leaders Francesco Molinari and David Howell looking over their shoulders.

Garcia birdied three of the first six holes to move up the leaderboard before parring the next three to complete the first nine in 33 shots.

The Spaniard began the back nine in confident fashion by picking up another shot at the 10th, before successive bogeys at the 12th and 13th held up his progress.

But Garcia repaired the damage immediately by making birdies at the 14th and 15th holes before picking up another shot at the 18th to sign for a 67 that put him two under for the tournament.

The world number 10 is hopeful of being in the mix on Sunday.

“I obviously needed a great round today, and it would have been if I hadn’t made those two bogeys on 12 and 13. But to be able to birdie 14 and 15 with two very nice shots and good putts got me back on track,” Garcia said.