Exceptional Lewis looks set to crack the case in Vilamoura
Englishman enjoying birdie feast
Sky Sports Golf, 12.30pm Sunday
Story so far
Cocksure Australian youngster Lucas Herbert is two shots clear of the Portugal Masters field with 18 holes to play at the Victoria Course, Vilamoura.
Herbert, who has quickly made an impact in the few European Tour starts he has managed to get, fired a third-round 64 to reach 19 under par.
The 22-year-old, a course debutant, opened with a 63 on Thursday and has been up with the pace all week. He was available at 100-1 on tournament-eve, but no bigger than 5-4 is on offer with a round to go.
The 2011 champion Tom Lewis – yet to win again on the European Tour – is alone in second place. Oliver Fisher, who carded an historic 59 in round two, is five shots off the pace. Ryder Cuppers, Sergio Garcia and Thorbjorn Olesen, are ten and 11 shots behind respectively.
-19 Lucas Herbert
-17 Tom Lewis
-15 Marcus Kinhult, Eddie Pepperell
-14 Mikko Korhonen, Renato Paratore, Oliver Fisher
5-4 L Herbert, 3 T Lewis, 13-2 E Pepperell, 14 M Kinhult, 20 M Korhonen, 25 R Paratore, 28 H Li, 40 O Fisher, 66 bar
Lucas Herbert and Tom Lewis were very much in the calculations of some punters at 100-1 and 50-1 before a ball was struck – Herbert has been regularly impressive in his early forays through sponsors invites to the European Tour, while Lewis has found some excellent form on the Challenge Tour in recent weeks.
Herbert and Lewis fill the first two places on the 54-hole leaderboard and there is every chance they retain first and second spot after final-round play draws to a close in Vilamoura.
The low scoring in Portugal, led by Fisher's Friday fireworks, means bookmakers are happy to chalk up odds-against quotes about both Herbert and Lewis. Despite their buffers at the top, the layers are clearly expecting one or two of the chasing pack to come charging at them.
Lewis is a course and distance winner, though, while Herbert is bursting with potential. The value lies in supporting the front two. Lewis, who did not drop a shot in rounds two or three, making 18 birdies and 18 pars, is the slightly better option of the two.
Lewis already has a European Tour title in his locker and he has already lifted a trophy this month, winning the Bridgestone Challenge by five shots the week before last. He is two shots behind Herbert, but a much juicier price.
The chasing pack have to find four shots on hotshot Herbert – an unenviable task – but Lewis from only two behind can approach the challenge in calmer fashion.
3pts 3-1 Sky Bet
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