Cape Town - He
may have announced his retirement a year ago, but Anders Hansen shot to
the top of the Portugal Masters leaderboard on Saturday.
The 46-year-old Dane decided to call time on his career at this very
tournament 12 months ago, although he remained eligible to return to the
European Tour by virtue of being in the top 40 of the career money
Making his fifth appearance of 2016, Hansen shot a superb 62 at
Victoria Clube de Golfe on Saturday to claim a share of the lead heading
into the final round.
He lies on 18 under par alongside Finland's Mikko Korhonen, who made his move courtesy of a 64.
The duo are one stroke clear of three-time major champion Padraig
Harrington, and two in front of English duo Chris Paisley and Andy
Sullivan and Scotland's Paul Lawrie.
Marc Warren, who shared the lead overnight with Sullivan, follows on 15 under.
Saturday's round marked only the second ever 62 of Hansen's career,
and came courtesy of birdies on the first, second, fifth, 11th, 12th,
14th, 15th, 17th and 18th.
"I didn't really have a strategy," he said. "Just go out and play and
just try to enjoy it and hit good shots and it turned out alright.
"When I decided to retire it was a full retirement and then the top
40 came in and I didn't really know so I had to play five this year and
that's why I've been doing this.
"I'm very, very happy with my life. I'm very happy where I am and
there is no re-think about starting playing golf again, I'm very happy
the way it is.
"It probably helps a little bit because it doesn't really matter to
me either way, it is what it is. I'm not going to come back and play
full-time, that decision has been made so I'm just enjoying being here.
"It's nice to know that I can still do it, even though I'm not
playing too much golf anymore. It's a strange feeling to go out and
shoot nine under in my position, it really is."
A few players are still in with a shot of saving their tour cards
come Sunday, including Trevor Fisher jnr at 13 under, Jason Scrivener at
12 under, and Graeme Storm and Oliver Fisher a further shot back.
third round scores in the Portugal Masters at the Oceanico Victoria
Golf Club, Vilamoura, on Saturday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 71):
195 - Anders Hansen (DEN) 67 66 62, Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 64 67 64
196 - Padraig Harrington 66 63 67
197 - Andrew Sullivan 67 61 69, Paul Lawrie 66 66 65, Chris Paisley 65 67 65
198 - Marc Warren 63 65 70
199 - Jens Fahrbring (SWE) 65 64 70, Stephen Gallacher 67 68 64,
David Lipsky (USA) 64 66 69, Callum Shinkwin 64 68 67, Nacho Elvira
(ESP) 65 67 67
200 - Robert Rock 67 66 67, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 67 70 63, Joakim
Lagergren (SWE) 66 66 68, Simon Khan 69 67 64, Trevor Fisher Jnr (RSA)
69 63 68
201 - Jason Scrivener (AUS) 68 66 67, Richie Ramsay 71 61 69, David
Horsey 68 67 66, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 69 64 68, Matthew Southgate 68 67
66, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 66 65 70
202 - Brett Rumford (AUS) 67 66 69, Ricardo Gouveia (POR) 66 68 68,
Alex Noren (SWE) 67 67 68, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 65 70 67, Benjamin
Hebert (FRA) 70 66 66, Oliver Fisher 66 67 69, Graeme Storm 68 66 68