Estanislao Goya put himself in a commanding position to clinch the Madeira Island Open BPI-Portugal after a third-round two-under-par 69 gave him a three-shot lead heading into the final day tomorrow.
The Argentinian trailed overnight leader Michael Hoey at the start of today's round on Porto Santo but capitalised on the Irish player's slip-ups to lie three strokes ahead of another Irish competitor Damien McGrane and four in front of Carlos Rodiles.
On a day of mediocre scoring among the leading players, Hoey, a former British amateur champion, quickly relinquished his lead by dropping a shot at the first hole and despite birdieing the second, he dropped two shots at the par-four third. Two birdies at eight and nine briefly narrowed the gap behind Goya but the ulstermen then suffered a double-bogey at the 10th.
A birdie at the par-three 15th limited the damage but he ended the day with another bogey and had to settle for a disappointing 75.
Goya carded two bogeys in each of his two previous rounds of 68 and that trend continued today, with four birdies keeping him his card under par.
McGrane, four under at the start of the day, was his closest challenger after a 70 today. However, he could have slipped out of contention early on when he bogeyed two of his opening five holes but he recovered with a birdie at the eighth and three more on the back nine.
Another Irish player Michael McGeady was even better placed heading into the third round, a 69 and 67 leaving him one shot off Hoey's overnight lead - but having finished yesterday's round with a double-bogey at the last, he started the day in similar fashion to plummet down the leaderboard. Back-to-back double bogeys at three and four and four further bogeys contributed to a poor six-over 77, leaving him level par overall.
Sweden's Joakim Haeggman was another player to drop off the pace having occupied a promising position, with a 75 dropping him back four shots to two under. Callum Macaulay of Scotland found some form to fire four birdies and an eagle in a four-under 67 - the best score of the day - to leave him two over.