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Saturday, 17 May 2003
Martin Erlandsson takes a slender one stroke lead into the final round of the Izki Challenge de Espana has he chases his maiden Challenge Tour title.

Erlandsson has headed the field since opening with a course record 64 but Carriles has gradually closed the gap, reducing the deficit to a single stroke with a third round 69 to Erlandsson’s 70 at Izki Golf, Urturi.

The 29 year old Swede lies on 14 under par 202, one clear of Carriles with four players, including last week’s winner Martin LeMesurier four strokes further back.


"I don’t feel happy today,” admitted Erlandsson, who has twice finished runner up on the Challenge Tour. “I played very tense, with too much pressure, thinking too much on every shot. Every time I picked up a shot, I lost it at the next. I birdied the third only to bogey the fourth, and then did it again when I birdied the 15th and bogeyed the 16th. That was an important hole, but I hit it very hard and then three putted. Tomorrow, I am playing again with Carriles so I'll keep an eye on him and with only a shot ahead anything can happen.”

Carriles has steadily closed in on Erlandsson; his three under par 69 today including four birdies and just the one dropped shot. Carriles, who hails from Pedrena, home of the legendary Seve Ballesteros, has won once before on the Challenge Tour, claiming the 1997 Estoril Challenge.

"Yesterday I was two behind, today just one!” said Carriles. “Martin (Erlandsson) has played well, he's got a very good swing and great rhythm, with that, it's difficult for him to miss any shot. I've played well, felt comfortable, and I think the gallery enjoyed some good shots in our match. There was a good atmosphere and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Italy’s Paolo Terreni, made a significant move with a seven under par 65 taking him to nine under par. Although he normally plays the Alps Tour he made the most of an invitation with a round that included two eagles on the front nine, holing his second shot on the par four second hole and then making a three on the par five eighth.

LeMesurier joined him on nine under following a four under par 68. "I've played OK, but not as good as yesterday. The first round was very difficult, I could not concentrate at all and kept thinking on last Sunday, but after that, my mind has been more on the golf course and concentration was good today. Started with a bogey on the first, from bunker to bunker, but then, five birdies made the round.”

England’s Mark Sanders and Swede Peter Hanson completed the group on nine under par.

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