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Harrington hopes end at Irish Open
30 May 2015 18:06
Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen moved into pole position to claim his first European Tour title for six years, despite a poor finish to his third round in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
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Kjeldsen enjoyed a four-shot lead after playing his first 13 holes in six under par at Royal County Down, but bogeyed the 17th and 18th to finish two ahead of Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Germany's Max Kieffer.
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Kieffer carded seven birdies and one bogey to set a new course record of 65, despite cold and blustery winds which meant only 11 players were under par at the end of the day.
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Padraig Harrington and Rickie Fowler's bids effectively ended with nightmare rounds on Saturday.
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Fowler, who was part of the victorious United States team in the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down, began the day just three shots off the lead and looked to have kept his hopes alive when he chipped in for an eagle on the 16th.
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However, the world number nine then lost a ball off the tee on the 17th and ran up a quadruple-bogey eight, before driving out of bounds on the par-five 18th to card another eight and a round of 76.
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Harrington also endured a terrible day, posting a seven over 78. He is now 12 shots off the lead at the chance of a home-win seems to be gone.
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At eight under par Kjeldsen was two ahead of Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, with Germany's Max Kieffer another stroke back after setting a new course record with a superb 65.
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"If you had given me 67 stood on the first tee I would have been very happy," said Kjeldsen, whose last win came in the Open de Andalucia in 2009. "I played terrific all day and didn't think I did too much wrong on the last two holes, so I will focus on the first 16.
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"Competition is pretty hard out here. It's not easy to win and it's not like I have played poorly for six years, but it's nice to have a chance and it would mean everything to win this event.
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"It's a fantastic tournament this year, maybe better than ever, and on a wonderful golf course. But it's too early to think about that. There are a lot of great players behind me and I need to play well (on Sunday) to have a chance. It's still that open."
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