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McGowan shoots 60 to surge seven clear in Spain

  • Story Highlights
  • Ross McGowan shoots 12-under-par 60 to equal lowest round on European Tour
  • English golfer takes seven-shot lead into final 18 holes of the Madrid Masters
  • Danny Willett and Michael Lorenzo-Vera share second place on 17-under 199
  • Home favorite Sergio Garcia drops back to a tie for ninth on 14-under with 71
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(CNN) -- English golfer Ross McGowan equaled the lowest round on the European Tour to take a huge seven-shot lead into the final 18 holes of the Madrid Masters on Sunday as he seeks his maiden title.

Ross McGowan is hoping to continue his good recent form by clinching his maiden European Tour win.

Ross McGowan is hoping to continue his good recent form by clinching his maiden European Tour win.

The 27-year-old carded a sensational 12-under-par 60 on Saturday to storm clear of compatriot Danny Willett and France's Michael Lorenzo-Vera, who shared second on 17-under 199, while home favorite Sergio Garcia dropped back to a tie for ninth.

McGowan fired two eagles and 10 birdies to compile the tour's biggest 54-hole lead this season, and it could have been better but for bogeys at the 11th and 14th holes.

However, he responded well to finish with three successive birdies and his second eagle-three at 18.

"I can't believe it really. I just played my own game and didn't think about the score until I hit the second shot to the 18th," he told reporters. "Then I thought, 'Hang on -- that was for 59.'"

McGowan matched the 11-under 60 that Rafael Cabrera-Bello shot to win the Austrian Open last month, but his effort will not go into the record books as placing was allowed on the fairways at the Centro Nacional de Golf.

The former English amateur champion is in good form after finishing sixth at the Alfred Dunhill Links in Scotland on Monday and third in Switzerland at the start of last month.

Lorenzo-Vera, battling to retain his tour card for next season, returned a flawless eight-birdie 64 to leap up from 10th, while Willett moved from sixth with a 66 after also eagling the last hole.

Finland's Mikko Ilonen fired a second successive 63 to join joint halfway leader David Drysdale of Scotland in a tie for fourth on 16 under.

Drysdale, who with Garcia had led by one shot from McGowan, Gary Murphy of Ireland and Italy's Emanuele Canonica after 36 holes, dropped shots at 16 and 17 to finish with a 69.

World No. 8 Garcia began with back-to-back birdies and reached the turn in 32, but disappointed his home fans as he bogeyed four of the last seven holes to card a 71.

The Spaniard was level with Murphy (70) on 14 under, one shot behind Canonica (69), Spain's Jorge Campillo (68) and Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay, who shot 65.

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