Molinari remains the man to beat at Wentworth

Italy's Francesco Molinari during the third round of the  BMW PGA Championship
Italy's Francesco Molinari during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship

Francesco Molinari produced the perfect response to some spectacular scoring from his rivals to remain the man to beat in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Molinari held a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the European Tour’s flagship event, but saw that wiped out before he started his third round thanks to some amazing feats from the chasing pack.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood had already birdied the first when he holed out with a seven iron from 198 yards on the fourth for just the third albatross in the history of the tournament.

And moments later, Miguel Angel Jimenez recorded his third hole-in-one of the season - he won 288 bottles of beer for an ace in last week’s Spanish Open - by holing out with a nine iron from 150 yards on the second.

That was the 10th ace of Jimenez’s career on the European Tour, setting a new record by edging one ahead of Colin Montgomerie, and was followed by a birdie on the next for good measure.

But it was Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and Korea’s Byeong Hun An who were the first to catch Molinari at the top of the leaderboard, Jaidee picking up shots on the first and second and An also making a birdie on the first.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland pair Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke failed to make up any ground on the leaders in their third round at the PGA Championship.

McDowell carded a level-par 72 to lie well down the field on one over, while Clarke posted a three-over 75 and is three shots further back on four over.

The duo had posted opening rounds of 74 and 71 to lie on the cut mark.

Shane Lowry is the best placed Irish player on four under after three holes of his round, one under for the day.