Hilversum (Netherlands): Seve Trophy captain Paul McGinley produced a breathtaking run to sprint within two strokes of the Dutch Open third-round lead on Saturday.
The 44-year-old Irishman chalked up an eagle and five birdies in seven holes on his way to a six-under-par 64 for an eight-under tally of 202, two behind South Africa`s James Kingston (66) and Briton Gary Orr (66).
Although it was not official because preferred lies are being used due to this week`s heavy rain, McGinley`s total of 28 shots for nine holes was only one off the European Tour record.
The scintillating run between the 10th and 18th, his front nine, was a career-best for McGinley.
He will be leading Britain and Ireland against Jean Van de Velde`s Continental Europe in France next week and McGinley was delighted to show his Seve Trophy team what he could do.
"It`s good to show the guys I can still play a bit," he told reporters. "I don`t think I`ve ever put a run like that together in my career."
McGinley, three times on Europe`s winning Ryder Cup team and the man who holed the putt to clinch the 2002 match against the U.S., has been looking for his fifth tour title for the last six years.
In that spell he has had to recover twice from knee operations.
"It`s been a while since I`ve been in contention and if things go right tomorrow you never know what could happen," he added.
The leading pair are, like McGinley, in their mid-40s, and both are looking for their third tour victories.
Orr, 44, has had the longer wait since winning twice in 2000. While the Scot made steady progress on Saturday, the 45-year-old Kingston recovered from an opening double-bogey with five birdies in the last eight holes.
Briton David Lynn, a former winner of the event, carded a 68 to take third place on nine-under.
With McGinley on eight-under is Briton Simon Dyson, trying to win the title for the third time in five years, Sweden`s Niclas Fasth and Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka.
U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy revived a flagging round with four birdies in eight holes coming home as a 68 lifted him within three shots of the lead.
The Northern Irishman will replace Germany`s Martin Kaymer as world number three if he finishes in the top seven here.
World number two Lee Westwood, who is six strokes off the pace, cannot be overtaken by McIlroy in the rankings.