Part-timer Hansen storms into contention


Twelve months on from announcing his retirement at last year's Portugal Masters, Anders Hansen will enter the final round of the 2016 tournament in Vilamoura tied for the lead.

Hansen, playing his fifth European Tour event of the season after opting to return to action on a part-time basis, made nine birdies and as many pars as he stormed to the top of the leaderboard on Saturday with a round of 62.

The veteran Dane was joined at 18 under by Finland's Mikko Korhonen (64), who sits 116th in the Race to Dubai and requires a strong finish this week to climb into the top 111 and retain his card.

Padraig Harrington, without a win on the European Tour since his US PGA Championship victory in 2008, is only one off the pace in third after a 67, while defending champion Andy Sullivan is one of three players a further stroke back in fourth following a 69 featuring six birdies and four bogeys.

Also at 16 under, alongside Sullivan, are Chris Paisley and Paul Lawrie, both men having gone round in 65. Marc Warren, who shared the lead with Sullivan overnight, slipped back to seventh courtesy of a one-under 70.

Hansen is eligible to play due to his place in the top 40 of the tour's career money list, but made it clear he has no interest in a permanent return to action.

"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," explained the 46-year-old, whose last title came in 2009.

"There is no rethink 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 playing 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."