Paul McGinley last tasted European Tour success in 2005 but a spectacular seven-under-par 65 on Saturday put him firmly in the hunt to end his win drought at the Ballantine's Championship.

The Irishman, 45, in one of the first groups out on Saturday, opened his third round with an amazing sequence of birdies at five of the first six holes.

He added another at the 12th before rolling in a seventh at the last to return a bogey-free card.

The 2002 Ryder Cup hero's last victory was at the season-ending Volvo Masters at Valderrama in October 2005 but he propelled himself into the early clubhouse lead at Blackstone Golf Club on 209, seven-under par.

“I got a very hot start,” said McGinley. “Five-under after six is a dream start. I don't think I've ever started a round like that before.

“From there just solid and didn't really struggle for par on any hole today which made the birdie putts easier.

“The start was the key - the difference between shooting 70 and shooting a 65.” - Sapa-AFP