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Damien McGrane poised to pounce just two shots behind leader Joost Luiten at the KLM Open

Updated: Saturday, 14 Sep 2013 23:31 | Comments

Damien McGrane's round of 67 puts him in a strong position for the final round at the KLM Open
Damien McGrane's round of 67 puts him in a strong position for the final round at the KLM Open

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Holland's Joost Luiten rewarded the home fans for braving some miserable conditions by claiming a narrow lead after the third round of the KLM Open at Zandvoort.

Luiten carded a four-under-par 66 at Kennemer Golf Club to finish 10 under par, one ahead of overnight leader Miguel Angel Jimenez who battled to a level-par 70.

Ireland's Damien McGrane returned a flawless 67 to move into a share of third place on eight under alongside France's Julie Quesne, with three-time winner Simon Dyson and fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher a shot further back after matching 71s.

Luiten bogeyed the opening hole but chipped in twice for birdie - on the sixth and 16th - and also holed from 40ft across the 17th green for another birdie to delight the large galleries.

"It was tough, it was a day all about surviving, especially on the front nine when it was raining and very windy," said 27-year-old Luiten, who claimed his second European Tour title in the Lyoness Open in Austria in June.

Shane Lowry carded a 68 to finish three shots behind McGrane on the leaderboard, while Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley's 73 leaves the Dubliner another three shots back on two under. 

Meanwhile, Kevin Phelan also carded a 73 to put him at two over for the tournament with David Higgins (73) and Simon Thornton (74) both on three over par overall. 

"Some of the holes are brutal, especially on the front nine." - Damien McGrane

McGrane, whose sole European Tour title to date in the 2008 China Open came in similar conditions, said: "It was really enjoyable, my short game was razor sharp which you need in tough conditions. I managed not to drop any shots all day which was a great achievement I am very content.

"I enjoyed it only because I was able to hang in there and picked up a couple of birdies close to the end which turned it into a very good day. When the conditions get tough it falls back on chipping and putting and today I was pretty good at it.

"Some of the holes are brutal, especially on the front nine, and when I weathered as far as number six I knew it would get a little easier. I've been showing reasonable form so I am looking forward to getting to this time tomorrow evening and see what it brings."

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