José Maria Olazábal and Costantina Rocca moved into a share of the lead on nine under par 201 after three rounds of the Novotel Perrier Open de France at Lyon Golf Club.
Rocca captured his maiden European Tour title at Lyon Golf Club eight years ago when he won the Open V33 du Grand Lyon, but on the Brocards course. This week they are playing the oldest tournament in continental Europe on the Sangliers course and Rocca rekindled some old memories with six birdies in a flawless round of 64.
“I played well, holed some putts and if I can hole some more this afternoon I can post a low score,” said the 45 year old Italian, who also won the Open de France in 1993. “I will try my best and if I can finish in the top five I will be happy.”
Olazábal, the pre-tournament favourite, moved into contention to win this title for the first time with two birdies on his last two holes to conclude a round of 66, four under par. His shot of the day was arguably on the 17th where chipped in from 35 feet. Another birdie on the par five 18th lifted the double Masters champion into a share of the lead.
“It is a tough day,” he said. “The wind has picked up a lot and made as much as two clubs length difference at times.
“I haven’t played all that well this week especially off the tee. It’s not very consistent but I managed to score today and that was important.”
Another Spaniard Domingo Hospital shot a round of 66 to move to eight under par along with the English pair of Neil Cheetham and Paul Eales.
After numerous disruptions during the first three days, 36 holes are scheduled for the final day to complete the 72 hole tournament.