Friday, 19 March 2010
Open de France - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Open de France - Round Two (Getty Images)

Rafa Echenique has a slender one stroke advantage over Martin Kaymer at the Open de France ALSTOM going into what promises to be an exciting final round at Le Golf National.

By adding a 70 to his opening rounds of 65 and 67, however, the 28 year old from Argentina still has a lot of work to do to claim his first European Tour title - one worth a massive €666,660.

Echenique, second in Munich last week after an albatross two on the final hole, is 11 under par after three rounds on the Albatross course.

He needed a closing birdie this time to edge back ahead of Martin Kaymer, the German whose opening, course record-equalling 62 on Thursday had given him a three-stroke advantage.

England's Paul Waring, another seeking his maiden win on the circuit, is in third place only two back following a 68 - and, thanks to four birdies in the last five holes, former amateur team-mate Seve Benson, named after the Spanish superstar, matched that score to be alongside Australian left-hander Richard Green and Swede Peter Hanson in fourth.

Echenique said: "That last birdie was very good because the putter just didn’t work for me today. When you are playing in the last group in these conditions then you are always going to be a little nervous, but after the first three holes I realised that I should calm down and try to play my game. 

"This is one of the biggest and best events on The European Tour and I believe that I can do it. I did it in the Argentinean Open, so why not here? I will try to keep the same strategy as I have all week - try and take irons off of most of the tees and get the putter working again because it wasn't working great today. It would be very big for me to win here.”

Not that Kaymer, winner of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and BMW International Open in 2008, will make life easy for Echenique.

“The first day was awesome then I struggled a little bit yesterday but I was solid today and made a lot of chances,” said the 24 year old. “I am really pleased with a 69. I feel really good here, I play solid and if I can make a few more putts tomorrow then I will have a great chance.

“I was surprised to see a few Germans out there supporting me today and also, and I don't know why this is, but there are quite a lot of the French people supporting me - it certainly feels that they like me and I hope that continues. Maybe it's because I wear Lacoste!

“I can remember being in Abu Dhabi leading going into the final round and I was really nervous for the first nine holes because I had never been in that situation before. I have been there a few times now and hopefully I can use that experience.”

Get Adobe Flash player

Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1KAYMER, MartinGER18-13
T4HANSEN, AndersDEN18-9
T4HANSON, PeterSWE18-9
T6HANSEN, SorenDEN18-8
R2D Fantasy

European Tour Partners

  • Rolex
  • BMW
  • Emirates
  • Titleist

Media Centre

Official Partner

Official Suppliers

This website is © The PGA European Tour 1997 - 2017. PGA European Tour, Wentworth Drive, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 4LX. Registered in England No. 1867610.
All rights reserved. No reproduction, distribution or transmission of any information, part or parts of this website by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of the PGA European Tour.