F80 BMW M3-GT by Laptime-Performance

Back in 2016 we got to know some tastefully engineered BMW M2s by the Munich-based tuning experts from Laptime-Performance. The so-called BMW M2 LT featured a number of exterior modifications, such as the CSL-styled trunk lid and the 19-inch HRE R101 wheels. The power output increased to 415 HP and 560 Nm (410 lb-ft) of torque, thanks to a Mcchip-DKR upgrade. Of course it didn’t take long and the special-edition M2s were sold quickly.

Now, roughly one year later, the guys at Laptime-Performance invited BMWBLOG for an exclusive look at their newest project: The BMW M3-GT F80 powered by Laptime-Performance.

The BMW M3-GT F80 is inspired by the infamous M3 GT E36, built in 1995 and sold only within Europe. Consequently, the M3-GT F80 features British Racing Green as exterior color. Just like its role model.

Additional modifications include a KW Clubsport 3-way adjustable kit, the Remus Innovation Catback exhaust system and an increased power output. Once again, a Mcchip-DKR upgrade is used to generate a maximum power of 520 HP / 700 Nm (516 lb-ft). To transfer the power onto the street, the M3-GT F80 comes with a choice of two HRE wheel sets. One is the extremely light RC100 with 19-inch Michelin Cup 2 tires while the other is the elegant HRE FlowForm FF01 with 20-inch Michelin PS4S.

While the BMW M3-GT F80 from Laptime-Performance is already up for sale, BMWBLOG was lucky enough to get behind the wheel of this unique M3. When opening the driver’s door, the RECARO Sportster CS seats caught immediately my eyes. In addition, the centrally mounted AWRON display provides the most important car data, such as the intake pressure of the turbochargers. Everything else in the cockpit of the M3 is pretty much where we use to know it. The specially upholstered steering wheel with the M colors completes the interior.

Once we got on the street with the M3-GT F80, we were very much impressed by the sporty, but yet comfortable ride comfort. Immediately we could imagine ourselves driving to work with this M3 GT on a daily basis. On the other hand, when flooring the accelerator pedal, we got pushed back into the seats by the immediate power output.

Although the current BMW M3 generation doesn’t provide the most lightweight basis, our friends at Laptime Performance managed to build a powerful and well-balanced tribute to the iconic BMW M3 GT.

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McGinley falls as Dodd’s long bomb sets up dramatic victory

Stephen Dodd. Picture: Phil Ingles

Stephen Dodd. Picture: Phil Ingles

Paul McGinley was denied his first tour win for 12 years when Welshman Stephen Dodd birdied the Forest of Arden’s 18th from 40 feet to draw level, eventually claiming the Farmfoods European Senior Masters after the Dubliner bogeyed the hole minutes later.

Winner of last year’s Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort, Dodd started the day on level par, three strokes behind 36-hole leader Clark Dennis.

The 51-year-old quickly made ground as he went out in two under par 34 and spent most of the day chasing both Dennis and 2014 Ryder Cup captain McGinley.

He was one ahead with for to play but found himself one shot behind McGinley after a two shot swing at the 15th hole, where he made bogey and McGinley, who was playing behind him in the final group, made birdie.

Dodd was still trailing McGinley playing the par-three 18th but he found the fringe at the front of the green, leaving himself 40 feet for birdie and a share of the lead.

The Welshman made the putt, which rolled around the hole before dropping in, to join McGinley at the top of the leaderboard on two under par.

McGinley, playing in just his fourth Senior Tour event on European soil, struck his tee shot short of the green but then missed a tricky putt for par to drop to one-under.

Dodd wasn’t safe yet as Dennis found the green, but missed a birdie putt from 15 feet, which would have forced a play-off, handing him his second European Senior Tour title.

“It was one of those putts where I was just trying to get by the hole, but fortunately it went in,” said Dodd.

“The thing with tough conditions is there aren’t going to be scores like 64s or 65 out there. Level par is usually a good score and that’s what I had in mind today.

“The field was great this week, and to come out on top is a great achievement for me.”

”I had a good start today which was important and I made a lot of pars from there. It was tough on the back nine to get it close and make birdies. Thankfully I made one on the last when it counted.

“It has been a challenging three days with the weather but the course held up well. It has been a challenging week for the greenkeeping staff but they did a fantastic job in these conditions.”

McGinley started the final round just a shot behind Dennis but surged ahead when he went out in 35 to the American’s 40 to share the lead with Dodd.

While he bogeyed the 11th and 13th, he birdied the short 15th to snatch the lead only to hear that Dodd had made that dramatic birdie on the last to set the target at two-under.

A par three would have earned him a playoff but in the end, he made bogey for a 73 share of second with Oeder of Merit leader Dennis.


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Frozen Black BMW M4 GTS Gets Vorsteiner Wheels

The BMW M4 GTS – even in its standard form – is a track-oriented beast. The vehicle is powered by the 3.0 liter BMW TwinPower Turbo engine, which delivers a whopping 493 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of peak torque. The power is harnessed through a 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic that allows the M4 GTS to roar from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. In a nutshell, the BMW M4 GTS is a race-bred car that utilizes the best from BMW’s engineering and design departments.

When Vorsteiner decided to spice up the looks of the M4 GTS, we knew that fans of this aftermarket tuner around the world were in for a real treat. The Vorsteiner aero kit for this vehicle comes in form of the VRS GTS rear diffuser, and the most impacting touch – the rear VRS GTS aero wing. All of these parts are made from high-quality pre-preg carbon fiber, which in turn give Vorsteiner parts supreme quality, perfect fitment, and low weight.

Frozen Black BMW M4 GTS Gets Vorsteiner Wheels

The final touch for this build comes in form of a set of Vorsteiner V-FS 001 Sport Forged wheels. These wheels are part of Vorsteiner’s recently revealed forged wheel series, a complementary wheel lineup to their highly-popular Flow Forged lineup. These wheels feature a custom design, they are built specifically for each application and feature utmost perfect fitment for any vehicle. The wheels installed on this BMW M4 GTS are sized 20×9.5 and 20×11.5 in the front and rear, respectively. They feature a Brushed Aluminum finish.

Take a look at the complete media gallery of this BMW M4 GTS with Vorsteiner aero parts and wheels right below.

Frozen Black BMW M4 GTS Gets Vorsteiner Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M4 GTS Gets Vorsteiner Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M4 GTS Gets Vorsteiner Wheels

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Shane Lowry: “People at home don’t realise how hard it is out here”

Sergio Garcia. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images

Sergio Garcia. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images

Shane Lowry could only look on the bright side after he made 18 birdies in four rounds and still finished 11 shots behind winner Sergio Garcia in the Andalucía Valderrama Masters.

As he takes the next week off to recharge after playing five on the spin, the Offaly man will spend little time thinking about the five shots he dropped on the 18th over the last three rounds.

A closing 72 was good enough to give him a share of 12th behind Garcia on one-under par, moving him to 61st in the Race to Dubai with two events to go.

Unlike Pádraig Harrington, whose game is not suited to Valderrama’s narrow confines, Lowry loved the test. And had he been driving the ball at his best, he might have avoided the two doubles at the 18th, or some of the 13 bogeys he made over four rounds.

As a case of what might have been, this was a classic.

“Coming off the golf course that last two days after doubling 18, it is very tough to come back from there, and I did, twice,” Lowry said. 

“It was one of those days where I could have shot anything.  I made a couple of bad errors early on, gave myself a lot of chances, then bogeyed the last again. So I played that last hole in five over for the week. So ‘what might have been’ is right.” 

The great thing about professional golf is that there’s always next week — or the week after next in Lowry’s case.

After eight years on tour, he knows the wins sometimes come when you least expect them. But he also knows that despite his frustrations this year, his best golf is not far away.

“It’s hard to describe when you play this game for a living,” he told Meridian Media’s Denis Kirwan. “It’s tough at the top level. You can be quite close one week and feel like you are very close and then go out and have a bad week the next week. 

“Or you might feel like your game is not there at all and go out and have a good week. It’s a great game to be playing, and I am very lucky to be playing it for my living. But it’s driving me mad at times.

“I am just hoping I can have a good end to my season because I feel like my golf is good.”

Asked if he felt like taking a JCB to Valderrama’s 18th, Lowry joked that a chainsaw might be more suitable for dealing with the cork oaks that line a hole that is not much loved by the purists of golf design. 

“I wasn’t that great off the tee this week, but that’s what this golf course does to you,” he said. “It’s very tight, and I am looking forward to going home for a week. Then I have Turkey and South Africa, and hopefully, I can make the Race to Dubai [finale.]”

After the US PGA, he said his goal was to try and get back into the world’s top 50 before the end of the year. And while he appears to be treading water in his career right now, he knows that it can all change in an instant, as he proved in Akron two years ago.

“You can’t force anything. You just have to keep doing what you think is right and that’s all I do,” he added. 

“I get a lot of criticism here, there and everywhere, but people at home don’t realise how hard it is out here. It is one of the toughest sports in the world to compete at, if you look at numbers.

“I am not here making excuses for why I feel I haven’t had a good season. But my game is definitely not far away. You are never too far from a good week.” 

Pádraig Harrington also shot 72 to finish tied 27th on two-over, leaving him 118th in the Race to Dubai after an injury-hit season.

“I should have done a little bit better, but I suppose you feel that about every tournament apart from the ones you win,” Harrington said. 

“It wouldn’t be my favourite style of golf course. It was a lot of hard work at times. I had it going a few times, but I missed a few a few putts and lost momentum.”

While he is in the fortunate position that rankings and cards mean little — he still has work to do via a medical exemption to avoid having to use his Career Money List privilege on the PGA Tour —  the 46-year-old is simply looking to add to his tally of worldwide wins.

“I am not worried about where I am going to go and play,” he said. “Maybe I’d play a bit better if I was.”

As for Garcia, one clear of Daniel Brooks entering the final round, the Masters champion built a three-shot lead after 11 holes before he was caught by Dutchman Joost Luiten.

In the end, he closed with a four-under 67 to win by a shot on 12-under-par and consign Luiten, who missed a short putt on the 16th, to his second successive runner-up finish at Valderrama.

It was Garcia’s sixth European Tour win on Spanish soil, his third victory of the year, and his first since claiming a maiden Major Championship title at the Masters.

The win means Garcia closed the gap on Tommy Fleetwood at the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, with the battle to be crowned 2017 European Tour Number One all to play for heading into the final four events of the season.

Luiten carded six birdies and bogey for a five under 66 but came up just short as a crucial birdie putt at the last just lipped out, leaving him on 11 under for a runner-up finish that moved him to 31st in the Race to Dubai.

England’s Daniel Brooks was four shots further back on seven under, after a level par 71, finishing two shots clear of Welshman Jamie Donaldson and three ahead of Australia’s Wade Ormsby as all three men moved inside the top 101 in the Rankings to secure their playing privileges for next season.

Sergio Garcia

“It’s been an amazing year, and to win here at Valderrama is very special. I’m really excited about it, it’s difficult to describe how it feels to win at home and to win on your favourite golf course.

“It was amazing – all three of us played amazing. Daniel played great with everything that he had on the line. Joost played unbelievable. I played really well and felt like maybe I could get away, but he just kept coming back and back and made it an amazing match.

“I stayed patient the whole time, I made sure the bad moments did not affect me too much and made a couple of really key putts coming in.

“The people were unbelievable, amazing, so many people came out and supported, it was really a treat. I want to dedicate this one to my wife Angela and our little baby coming next year in March.”

Joost Luiten

“It was a great battle, to go up against one of the best players in Europe and go head-to-head down the stretch was really fun and unfortunately I came up one short. I missed a short one on 16 and that’s probably the one which really left me one shot short.

“I’ve hit my irons pretty good all week, I hit one really close on five with an eight iron to four feet and then on six a seven iron to ten feet. I had a nice one on nine too, but you know when you come up against these guys you’ve got to go for the pins and be aggressive. I tried and it paid off in the beginning, unfortunately one mistake on the greens cost me but that’s golf.

“The atmosphere was great, especially when you’re coming up 17 and they’re all sitting behind the green on the bank. It’s one of the best holes in golf I guess. It’s great – I wish they had been a little more quiet on the 18th with me winning – but that’s golf and Sergio deserved it.

“The putt on 18 was right to left and I had the right line but unfortunately it had a bit too much speed and it lipped out. That’s one of those putts if you’re a bit more lucky it goes in, but they can stay out. I gave it a run and Sergio just outplayed me.”

Daniel Brooks

“It was good – Sunday at Valderrama playing with Sergio in his home event and him winning, it’s pretty good. I had a good day out there, at the end of the day I kept my card which was nice and that was the goal at the beginning of the week.

“I didn’t think about it at the start of the week at all. I just went out there to play but, as the days went on I started thinking about it. I’m in here now and I needed to finish it off and luckily I did.”

Jamie Donaldson

“I played nicely, wasn’t quite the ball-striking of yesterday but still pretty good. I had lots of chances, holed some good putts out there and some great up-and-downs coming down the last few holes.

“You know what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to finish a certain position to guarantee things so you’ve always got that in the back of your mind but you’ve just got to play the golf course as you planned to play it.

“I had a bit of a cushion knowing that I didn’t completely need to keep my card because I do have a year left of my Career Money List exemption but, even so, you don’t want to use it.”


Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation,  Real Club Valderrama (Par 71)

272 S Garcia (Esp) 66 71 68 67, 

273 J Luiten (Ned) 66 70 71 66, 

277 D Brooks (Eng) 70 72 64 71, 

279 J Donaldson (Wal) 73 67 68 71, 

280 W Ormsby (Aus) 73 70 67 70, 

281 A Hansen (Den) 70 70 71 70, S Jamieson (Sco) 69 68 71 73, 

282 N Bertasio (Ita) 74 71 69 68, R Rock (Eng) 67 70 74 71, J Suri (USA) 73 73 65 71, A Rai (Eng) 70 74 71 67, 

283 P Larrazábal (Esp) 67 73 73 70, A Otaegui (Esp) 71 71 72 69, P Hanson (Swe) 69 75 68 71, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 70 69 72, O Fisher (Eng) 72 73 70 68, A Chesters (Eng) 72 74 69 68, 

284 S Kjeldsen (Den) 72 71 70 71, C Hanson (Eng) 72 74 68 70, D Willett (Eng) 70 72 71 71, M Wallace (Eng) 71 72 69 72, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 72 74 67, 

285 R Gouveia (Por) 69 70 72 74, A Johnston (Eng) 69 71 73 72, S Soderberg (Swe) 73 69 72 71, R Paratore (Ita) 77 68 72 68, 

286 M Kaymer (Ger) 70 72 74 70, J Scrivener (Aus) 70 75 72 69, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 72 73 69 72, 

287 R Dinwiddie (Eng) 71 71 71 74, R Bland (Eng) 70 71 73 73, P Waring (Eng) 71 72 71 73, M Manassero (Ita) 70 74 68 75, J Lima (Por) 72 72 70 73, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 70 73 73, 

288 T Detry (Bel) 72 72 71 73, J Fahrbring (Swe) 73 71 70 74, L Jensen (Den) 70 74 73 71, C Pigem (Esp) 73 73 74 68, J Morrison (Eng) 69 74 73 72, F Fritsch (Ger) 71 75 70 72, A Cañizares (Esp) 72 70 75 71, B Evans (Eng) 69 69 77 73, Z Lombard (RSA) 75 71 72 70, J Campillo (Esp) 73 73 72 70, 

289 P Peterson (USA) 68 72 75 74, A Plant (Eng) 70 72 74 73, 

290 R Finch (Eng) 69 73 72 76, A Wu (Chn) 72 71 74 73, L Slattery (Eng) 72 71 71 76, B Ritthammer (Ger) 75 68 70 77, B Dredge (Wal) 73 73 71 73, 

291 M Foster (Eng) 73 72 77 69, 

292 A Connelly (Can) 73 69 76 74, J Walters (RSA) 71 74 71 76, P Angles (Esp) 75 69 74 74, A Romero (Arg) 71 75 75 71, 

293 S Crocker (USA) 73 73 75 72, A Karlsson (Swe) 73 72 75 73, E Molinari (Ita) 69 71 81 72, 

294 F Aguilar (Chi) 70 76 76 72, 

295 D Perrier (Fra) 74 72 71 78, 

299 O Wilson (Eng) 69 70 81 79, 

300 C Syme (Sco) 75 70 76 79, 

302 A Knappe (Ger) 74 72 79 77

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Moynihan falls back in China

Oliver Farr from Wales with the winner's trophy at Foshan Golf Club, Nanhai, Guangdong Province, China. Credit: Richard Castka/Sportpixgolf.com.

Oliver Farr from Wales with the winner’s trophy at Foshan Golf Club, Nanhai, Guangdong Province, China. Credit: Richard Castka/Sportpixgolf.com.

Gavin Moynihan finished poorly in the Foshan Open and slipped three places to 26th in the Road to Oman rankings.

Tied for 12th entering the final round, the Dubliner was one-over for the day with five holes to go but followed a bogey at the 14th with three successive bogeys to finish at Foshan Golf Club.

A five-over 77 left him tied for 38th on level par, and having earned just €2,693, he now find himself €13,530 behind 15th ranked Richard McEvoy with just two events to go in the race for 15 European Tour cards.

Welsman Oliver Farr claimed his second European Challenge Tour title and a return to the European Tour with a five-shot victory.

A 2014 graduate, the 29-year old is assured of a place on the European Tour next season after surpassing 120,000 points with his triumph in China.

Ranked 50th on the Road to Oman just six weeks ago, Farr admitted he is still processing the remarkable turnaround which has now taken him up to fourth place.

“It is a massive win,” he said after closing with a 69 to finish on 18-under par.

“If you’re playing in this event you start the week knowing that if you win you will be close to getting a European Tour card. That brings a little bit of added pressure to the event but that’s what also makes it such a big tournament.

“It still hasn’t set in yet but it’s a fantastic achievement to win one of the biggest Challenge Tour events.

“I wasn’t in a good frame of mind six weeks ago if I am honest. I was questioning myself and was lacking in belief but it feels great to have been able to have turned everything around.

“I am not 100% sure how I have turned everything around but I know I am playing the best golf I have ever played. That is a great feeling to have and I hope it continues.

“I played on the European Tour in 2015 after qualifying from here so it is a fantastic feeling to know that I can progress from the Challenge Tour again.”

Joining Farr on the European Tour next season will be Farr’s roommate in China, Ryan Evans, whose share of third took him past 115,000 points this season.

After such a successful week staying with Evans, Farr admits that the pair could make it a regular occurrence on the European Tour next season.

“We briefly discussed it at the end of our rounds,” he said. “We roomed together during the Rolex Trophy, and we did okay there, and we will try and do it again in the future.

“We are good friends, and we both push each other on and with two more weeks together in Dubai and Oman hopefully we can keep this form up and be in the last group together again over the next two weeks.”

Foshan Open, Foshan Golf Club (Par 72)

Detailed scores

270 O Farr (Wal) 69 66 66 69, 

275 S Heisele (Ger) 67 70 69 69, 

276 R Evans (Eng) 70 70 66 70, D Huizing (Ned) 66 70 72 68, 

278 C Tarren (Eng) 65 71 70 72, 

279 R Cho (Kor) 70 71 68 70, Z Hui-Lin (Chn) 68 64 76 71, 

280 S Fernandez (Esp) 72 67 68 73, J Guerrier (Fra) 71 70 71 68, B Neil (Sco) 70 69 69 72, 

281 R McEvoy (Eng) 71 71 69 70, A Saddier (Fra) 68 70 74 69, S Brown (Eng) 70 71 71 69, 

282 J Dantorp (Swe) 69 68 75 70, M Schwab (Aut) 68 70 74 70, N Cullen (Aus) 66 74 71 71, 

283 V Perez (Fra) 74 68 73 68, C Sordet (Fra) 70 72 66 75, M Lundberg (Swe) 66 74 74 69, 

284 C Blomstrand (Swe) 71 69 71 73, P Oriol (Esp) 69 67 78 70, C Koepka (USA) 70 70 71 73, C Mivis (Bel) 69 74 71 70, M Fenasse (Fra) 69 72 73 70, 

285 M Antcliff (Aus) 69 70 72 74, 

286 T Pulkkanen (Fin) 74 70 72 70, J Geary (Nzl) 72 71 74 69, J Winther (Den) 71 69 69 77, J Hansen (Den) 71 69 73 73, C Braeunig (Ger) 71 71 71 73, C Ford (Eng) 73 69 72 72, L Gagli (Ita) 71 68 76 71, 

287 M Ovesen (Den) 75 70 69 73, S Forsström (Swe) 74 67 72 74, B Virto (Esp) 69 73 70 75, R Saxton (Ned) 70 73 72 72, C Zi-Hao (Chn) 70 71 74 72, 

288 Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 72 72 67 77, G Porteous (Eng) 72 72 74 70, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 72 70 70 76, 

289 R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 69 75 74 71, M Kinhult (Swe) 72 72 72 73, 

290 P Howard (Eng) 67 71 77 75, T Sato (Jpn) 69 76 72 73, D Foos (Ger) 72 71 75 72, H Wen-Yi (Chn) 75 70 73 72, 

291 D Lee (Kor) 76 69 72 74, B Macpherson (Aus) 71 73 75 72, 

292 G Forrest (Sco) 72 69 75 76, W Hongfu (Chn) 70 75 71 76, 

293 M Perry (Nzl) 72 73 74 74, J Heath (Eng) 67 72 79 75, 

294 M Madsen (Den) 72 71 72 79, J Arnoy (Nor) 74 71 74 75, T Murray (Eng) 72 73 76 73, 

295 A Pavan (Ita) 71 72 73 79, Y Tian (Chn) 71 73 77 74, 

297 J Senior (Eng) 74 71 77 75, 

298 T Rongjian (Chn) 70 72 77 79, Y Jian-Feng (Chn) 73 70 76 79, 

299 J Doherty (Sco) 74 71 74 80, M Webb (Eng) 74 71 74 80, 

300 O Lindell (Fin) 73 71 76 80, 

307 Y Yi-Nong (Chn) 71 73 81 82, 

** Z Jin (Chn) 70 73 WD.

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Leona just in behind at Q-School

Leona Maguire

Leona Maguire

World Amateur No 1 Leona Maguire shot a third round 70 to lie just a stroke behind England’s Georgia Hall and Korea’s Sandy Choi heading into the final round of the LPGA and Symetra Tour Qualifying Tournament Stage II in Florida.

The 22-year-old Duke University star only nees to complete 72 holes to earn Symetra Tour status and has no intention of teeing it up at Stage III to battle for one of 20 cards as LPGA rules would require her to turn professional immediately.

Instead, she will complete her college studies as planned and turn professional after graduation in May.

At seven-under-par, she is tied for third with American Gabriella Then and Hungary’s Csicsi Rozsa after making four birdies and two bogeys on the Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice.


Hall shot a three-under 69 in the Panther Course while Choi carded a 70.

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Costly mistakes for the Irish as Garcia leads at Valderrama

Sergio Garcia chips to the 18th at Real Club Valderrama. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Sergio Garcia chips to the 18th at Real Club Valderrama. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Shane Lowry double bogeyed the 18th for the second day and now lies six shots behind Masters champion Sergio Garcia ahead of the final round of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

As Garcia continued his march towards a sixth European Tour victory on home soil courtesy of a three under 68, Lowry’s six at the 18th leaves him tied for seventh place on two-under-par after making six birdies in what was eventually a two-under 69.

He will be frustrated to have undone much of his good work at the finish, especially when he is 65th in the Race to Dubai and seeking a win that would help him achieve his goal of a return to the world’s top 50.

But he will also be looking at the many positives and hoping for an error-free Sunday after racking up 14 birdies in his first three rounds.

Pádraig Harrington made five birdies in a 69, but like Lowry, he has frittered away four shots on one hole.

In Harrington’s case, it’s the ninth, where he followed bogeys in the first two rounds with a double bogey six in round three.

The Dubliner, 46, birdied the second and fourth before a bogey at the eighth and a double at the ninth left him four over for the tournament.

But he came home in 33 with birdies at the 10th, 16th and 17th and goes into the final round tied for 21st on one-over-par.

Garcia, 37, leads by a shot on eight-under-par from England’s Daniel Brooks, who significantly boosted his hopes of retaining his European Tour card with a stunning, seven-under 64.

Joost Luiten (71) is alone in third on six-under with Scot Jamieson (71) and Jamie Donaldson (68) just three strokes behind Garcia on five-under-par.

Sergio Garcia

“It was pretty solid. I missed a couple of shots here and there but other than that I got off to a great start with a couple of birdies, almost three birdies in a row. Then I, unfortunately, missed a couple of shots and made a couple of bogeys.

“I stayed patient, made a good birdie on eight and almost a great birdie on nine. On the back nine, a couple of good saves and then a couple of nice birdies to finish with.

“I’m going to go out there tomorrow and try to post another under par round and see what happens. Obviously, Daniel Brooks shot seven under today, almost eight under, so good rounds are possible, but they have to be spot-on. We know what Valderrama can do.

“The way it’s playing maybe you can chase a low score, but everything has to be going your way and the couple of shots you miss, you have to get lucky with gaps or have good lies in the rough. It’s not easy, but we’ll see.

“It would be amazing to win, an amazing achievement. It’s still a long way to go tomorrow so I can’t get ahead of myself too much and hopefully I’ll have a good night and a nice rest and be ready for tomorrow, play well and see what happens.”

Daniel Brooks

“That was good fun out there. I hit a lot of good shots. I’ve been playing some great golf all week, I made a lot of birdies – I’ve made some silly bogeys – but my game’s in good shape, so hopefully, I can take that into tomorrow.

“You need to play aggressively to get it into good positions off the tee and it’s a lot easier to attack from there, if you’re playing quite conservative off the tee then it does become quite tricky and longer. This week I’ve been playing quite aggressively and I’ve been attacking pins, playing nice golf.

“I knew I needed a good week. If you have a good one, great, if not then I go to Tour School in a few weeks’ time. That’s how I’ve looked at it and it’s not the end of the world. I’ve put myself in a good position now and hopefully, I’ll have a good day tomorrow.

“It’s been in there. I’ve had seven birdies the last two days each day, I could have had some good scores but I just let it slip a bit, and it gets to you round here. As soon as you start missing a couple of shots, you hit a few trees, your head just starts to go all over the place. Today was a lot calmer out there for me. I kept it in play and it was good fun. A nice steady day would do me (on Sunday), nothing too stressful.”

Joost Luiten

“I felt like I left a couple too many out there, especially on the greens with a couple of short putts – I three-putted the seventh and missed a short one on nine, lipped out on ten. But I’m still in the race and hopefully tomorrow those ones will drop.

“I struggled a little off the tee so you have to hit some good wedge shots in and luckily I did on 16 and 17, hit it pretty much stiff on both holes. That was nice, it’s good to fall back on things like that, and hopefully, we can do that tomorrow again.

“It’s fun to play in that final group, but it’s also good to be away from the crowds a little bit. I like to play in the last group, that’s why you play golf, but it looks like I just missed out on it. It just means I need to go from behind and surprise them that way.

“I think if you can get it ten under tomorrow it’s going to be hard for Sergio, but he knows the course a lot and is obviously playing well. But he still has to do it tomorrow as well, and I think the pressure is on him tomorrow so hopefully, I can be the underdog.”

Jamie Donaldson

“It’s so difficult, that last hole, and it was a really good angle in. I hit a good nine iron just below the hole, and it was nice to finish with a birdie. It was a shame not to birdie 17 after two really good shots, but overall it was a really good day.

“It’s one of the most difficult golf courses we play to find the fairway, and I did that most of the time, which is great. You have to drive it really well around here, so I’m really happy with it. It’s very playable when you start knocking it down the middle of every fairway.

“As soon as you’re missing fairways, you don’t have to miss them by much, and you’re behind a tree, or sometimes you’re even behind a tree in the middle of a fairway, so you have to hit certain sides. It’s a very difficult golf course, it’s a bit like playing chess out there, you just have to aim at your target and hope it goes there.

“The last couple of years have been difficult with injury, so you just have to keep going, working hard, sort the injuries out and practise hard. I’ve been playing nicely of late, I’ve just not been up there with chances often enough. I’ve been playing really good this week, so hopefully I can continue that tomorrow, keep putting it in the middle of the fairway and see how low we can go.”

Scott Jamieson

“A front nine of level par was disappointing, but a back nine level par was maybe a fair representation – I maybe could have sneaked one or two better. I was good tee-to-green front side so to be level at the turn was disappointing, but it was a great day.

“Playing with Sergio here in Spain around this iconic venue, there were so many people watching, it was great fun. It feels special, obviously, they were here to watch Sergio, but I played my part, I tried to hang on to his coat tails there. 

“It was a fantastic feeling and an honour as well to play with the Masters champion. It’s not that easy sometimes playing with someone like Sergio, there’s a lot that comes with it, and I kind of handled that quite well today, I thought.

“If a couple more putts had dropped it would have been an even better day. There are certain holes you’ve got to be on the right side of the fairway, you can be in the rough on some holes and be okay, so I feel like I’ve got a good game-plan. If I can execute and hole some putts I’ll fancy a good chance.”

Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, Real Club Valderrama (Par 71)

Detailed scores

205 S Garcia (Esp) 66 71 68, 

206 D Brooks (Eng) 70 72 64, 

207 J Luiten (Ned) 66 70 71, 

208 S Jamieson (Sco) 69 68 71, J Donaldson (Wal) 73 67 68, 

210 W Ormsby (Aus) 73 70 67, 

211 Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 70 69, J Suri (USA) 73 73 65, R Gouveia (Por) 69 70 72, A Hansen (Den) 70 70 71, R Rock (Eng) 67 70 74, 

212 M Manassero (Ita) 70 74 68, P Hanson (Swe) 69 75 68, M Wallace (Eng) 71 72 69, 

213 R Dinwiddie (Eng) 71 71 71, P Larrazábal (Esp) 67 73 73, B Ritthammer (Ger) 75 68 70, S Kjeldsen (Den) 72 71 70, A Johnston (Eng) 69 71 73, D Willett (Eng) 70 72 71, 

214 A Otaegui (Esp) 71 71 72, R Bland (Eng) 70 71 73, L Slattery (Eng) 72 71 71, S Soderberg (Swe) 73 69 72, N Bertasio (Ita) 74 71 69, P Waring (Eng) 71 72 71, J Fahrbring (Swe) 73 71 70, C Hanson (Eng) 72 74 68, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 70 73, J Lima (Por) 72 72 70, R Finch (Eng) 69 73 72, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 72 73 69, 

215 T Detry (Bel) 72 72 71, A Chesters (Eng) 72 74 69, O Fisher (Eng) 72 73 70, B Evans (Eng) 69 69 77, A Rai (Eng) 70 74 71, P Peterson (USA) 68 72 75, 

216 J Morrison (Eng) 69 74 73, F Fritsch (Ger) 71 75 70, A Plant (Eng) 70 72 74, M Kaymer (Ger) 70 72 74, J Walters (RSA) 71 74 71, 

217 A Wu (Chn) 72 71 74, D Perrier (Fra) 74 72 71, L Jensen (Den) 70 74 73, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 72 74, J Scrivener (Aus) 70 75 72, A Cañizares (Esp) 72 70 75, B Dredge (Wal) 73 73 71, R Paratore (Ita) 77 68 72, 

218 Z Lombard (RSA) 75 71 72, P Angles (Esp) 75 69 74, A Connelly (Can) 73 69 76, J Campillo (Esp) 73 73 72, 

220 C Pigem (Esp) 73 73 74, A Karlsson (Swe) 73 72 75, O Wilson (Eng) 69 70 81, 

221 S Crocker (USA) 73 73 75, A Romero (Arg) 71 75 75, E Molinari (Ita) 69 71 81, C Syme (Sco) 75 70 76, 

222 F Aguilar (Chi) 70 76 76, M Foster (Eng) 73 72 77, 

225 A Knappe (Ger) 74 72 79.

from News – Irish Golf Desk http://ift.tt/2gYTDMN