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Saturday, 01 May 1999
Spanish players have taken a firm grip of the Comunitat Valenciana Challenge de España in Valencia with Manuel Moreno and Tomas Jesus Muñoz leading the way.

Moreno fired a second successive 67, the best of the day, to catch overnight leader Muñoz on seven-under-par 209 with the latter carding 71.

They are three strokes clear of another Spaniard, Carl Suneson, who also returned 71, and four ahead of Didier de Vooght of Belgium, who fell back with 73.

While most players struggled to beat par, Moreno made it look easy. The 40-year-old from Madrid, who played on the European Tour until 1992 but now competes on the newly-established Spanish circuit, rolled in six birdies to bring his tally to 13 in the past two rounds.

"I don't know why I'm playing so well but I'm holing a lot of putts," he said. "When I left the tour I had lost my desire to compete. Now I've got it back by playing on the Oki Telepizza Tour in Spain and thanks to the members at my club who have encouraged me."

Muñoz, 27, parred the first 17 holes then collected his only birdie with a three at 18. "That left me with a nice taste in my mouth," he said. "I should have had more birdies because I hit the ball close but I didn't putt well."

Earlier in the day Gustavo Rojas of Argentina set the clubhouse target with a six-birdie 68 then remarked:

"This is the best course I've ever played. Every hole is spectacular and you know you have to hit the ball well if you want to make a score."

The best placed British player is Nick Ludwell on two-under-par 214 after a 70. The Selby-based 27 year old would have been even higher but for a double-bogey six at the last when he pulled his drive into a sandy waste then found a bush with his recovery.

Fellow Yorkshireman, Simon Hurd, is a shot further back also after a 70 which included a bogey at the 468-yard 18th when he failed to get up-and-down from the front of the green.

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