by Ronan MacNamara
Michael Hoey by Golffile
A one-under-par 71 for Michael Hoey saw him drift out of contention after round three of the Open de Portugal at Royal Obidos.
Hoey was faltering at one-over through 13 holes courtesy of three bogeys and a couple of birdies before he lit things up with a hole-out eagle on the par-4 16th to move under-par for the day.
He couldn’t move further up the leaderboard as he parred the final two holes.
It leaves Hoey just outside the top-10 in a share of 12th and he is projected to move inside the top-30 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings so he has plenty to play for tomorrow.
The five-time European Tour winner is ten shots behind Germany’s Marcel Schneider who shot a bogey-free round of seven-under 65 to open up a healthy three shot gap on Spaniard Alejandro Del Rey.
The German burst out of the traps with four birdies in six before further gains followed on ten, fourteen and sixteen as he made it home in 33 to move to seventeen-under.
"I feel good about my game,” he said. “I felt good last week but I didn’t expect anything this week. I just wanted to try and bring the same game this week and see what comes out.
“I do feel comfortable, that’s for sure. My game is good, a few little mistakes but I always managed to save par.
“The game was actually just a little bit less strong than yesterday but the putter went hot and it helped me to push to seven under.
“Over the first two days, my long game was really on fire. I was so close to the pin all the time, but my putting stroke, I barely made anything. If you’re putting well, it really pushes your forward mentally and on the leaderboard.”
Del Rey carded two eagles in five holes on his way to a 66 while Sweden’s Jens Dantorp is within striking distance on twelve-under-par thanks to a closing eagle to shoot a three-under 69.