Triple Major winning Padraig Harrington will look to draw on overwhelmingcrowd support in capturing a second Irish Open title in five years at RoyalPortrush.
Harrington shot a third round level par 72 to remain in a share ofthird place at 10-under par and still two strokes from the lead heading to thefinal round.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson, looking to secure a first European Toursuccess in over 250 events, carded a 69 in rainy and windy conditions to moveto 12-under par and one stroke clear of England’s Anthony Wall (67).
Donaldson, 36 began with a bogey but then capped his round with asecond hole eagle.
“The eagle on two was pretty close to a ‘two’, but it’s just niceto be back in the frame,” he said.
“I have been knocking on the door a few times for that first winso we’ve just got to keep playing the same way as I did today.”
Harrington had suggested at the close of day two he would ratherbe chasing and putting pressure on those in front.
And when this was brought to Donaldson’s notice, the former WelshAmateur champion responded:
“The onlyperson I’m really playing against is myself so I have got to stay out of my ownway and let the shots take care of themselves.”
Wall, 37 captured his only Tour title in winning 2000 AlfredDunhill Championship in South Africa but since then has managed just five secondplace finishes but also banking some Euro 6m in prize money.
The Surrey golfer then declared his round that included sixbirdies and just one bogey to be the best of his career.
“I would have to say that round today is close to the best I’veever had,” he said.
“I shot 67 in the 2006 British Open at Hoylake, but given theconditions today that was easily my best.”
Wall is spending the week sharing the £ (STG) 600 cost of sharinga nearby caravan with fellow England golfer Andrew Marshall, and if Wall shouldcapture a second Tour title he will earn a first prize cheque for Euro 333,330.
“I’ve made a lot of money being out here for 15 years, and it’slike any job, you can do alright in 15years work,” he said.
“But I don’t look at it that way, especially with a third of thecountry out of work.”
Harrington is looking to end a four-year main tour’s winlessdrought since capturing the 2008 PGA Championship, and admitted he knows littleof Donaldson and Wall.
“I’m not exactly sure of the form of the guys in front of me, nordo I know their track records,” he said.
“But I’ll be doing my thing and hoping I can keep my name up onthat leader board and that brings pressure to bear.”
And after 30,721 spectators braved the rain and wind on day three,Harrington is hoping their support can lead to a 27th pro careervictory title.
“The upside of the having a home crowd behind you is you’regetting carried along and you are winning the tournament,” he said
“There is the downside that if you’re not playing well you feeldisappointed, and you feel like you are letting people down.
“But having the crowd behind you can only be positive in terms of tryingto win the tournament, no doubt about it.
“So I would say it’s worth 20 per cent, 25 per cent help on yourperformance. It’s significant.”