An assured touch on the putting surfaces of Cordoba Golf Club helped Dutchman Taco Remke take a two shot lead into the final round of the 77th Abierto Visa del Centro presentado por Personal on the European Challenge Tour.
The 23 year old from Amsterdam showed he was more than acclimatised to conditions on his first visit to Argentina, posting an excellent third round 67 for a nine under par total of 204 to open a gap between himself and his nearest challengers; the Argentine duo of Estanislao Goya and Carlos Cardeza.
Remke – a winner of Satellite EPD Tour events in Germany and Poland last season – started the third round in second place and, aside from dropping a shot at the opening hole, he was flawless as he powered to pole position.
The mistake at the first was immediately eradicated at the second with birdie while another birdie at the short fourth saw him to the turn under par. His forward momentum continued with further birdies at the 11th, 12th and 15th on the back nine and he admitted he was more than pleased with his day’s work.
“Although a bogey at the first was a bad way to start it turned out to be a very good day for me,” he said. “Afterwards I was able to focus really well and that stopped me from making any further mistakes.
“My driving is usually my strong point but today my strength was on the greens. I putted really well and holed a lot of good ones which will help me sleep well tonight. I have won a couple of times in smaller events in Europe but this is a step up and so obviously I’d love to win here. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”
Although his two closest challengers finished the day on the same seven under par total of 206, Estanislao Goya and Carlos Cardeza could not have arrived at the total in more contrasting ways.
Teenager Goya painted a serene picture with a flawless three under par 68 – the 19 year old’s only departures from par coming with birdies at the fourth, eighth and 12th – while Cardeza had a rollercoaster day for his 67.
The 23 year old native of Cordoba began his third round in sensational fashion with birdies at the first four holes and when he added further gains at the seventh and ninth, he reached the turn in 29. However, the fireworks ceased on the back nine and he finished with bogeys at the 15th and 17th.
“On the back nine I had plenty of birdie chances but I just couldn’t take them and then I made the two bogeys which was disappointing,” he said. “But I am very happy and because I played very well. I’m only two shots behind so I’m going to take it easy and see what happens in the final round.”
All three of the leading players upstaged the big names in the field, led by reigning US Open Champion and defending champion Angel Cabrera.
The Cordoba hero – who is aiming to win the tournament for the fourth year in succession – had four birdies and four bogeys in a level par third round 71 for a two under par total of 211 and will now need to make up a seven shot deficit on leader Remkes if he is to win again.