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Saturday, 15 May 2010
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño  (Getty Images)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (Getty Images)

Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño three putted the last to fall back into a tie with Sweden’s Pelle Edberg heading into the final round of the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca.

Four times a winner on the European Tour but never on home soil, the 29 year old from Madrid kept a bogey off his card in the tricky conditions until he came to the par three 18th.

The Spaniard, whose last victory came with a play off success over Lee Westwood in the 2008 British Masters at The Belfry, could not find his best putting on the last but it was still an impressive round.

Fernandez-Castaño was round in a two under par 68 as a result and with a day to go stands four under alongside Edberg.

Joint halfway leader with James Kingston, Edberg followed up his stunning second round 64 with a 71, mixing three birdies with four bogeys.

But that was better than Kingston managed. The 44 year old South African could not card a birdie and bogeys on the third, tenth, 12th and 14th meant a 74 and a drop into a tie for sixth place.

Australian Scott Hend had a best of the day 66 to improve from ninth to third and will resume only a shot off the pace.

One further back are Edberg's fellow countryman Peter Hanson and Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares, while England's Chris Wood is alongside Kingston and Dane Mark Haastrup.

Putts of nine and 20 feet on the sixth and difficult eighth took Fernandez-Castaño to the turn in 33.

His other birdie came on the 16th, although his drive was actually down an adjoining fairway, thanks to an eight footer and he almost chipped in for another at the next.

“I had a good time,” said Fernandez-Castano. “I played as well as yesterday, with the same good feel. I had some good recoveries, and nearly holed three times from the fringe.  I only faltered a bit on the tenth and 11th, and, of course, I tree-putted on 18. That was most disappointing, as I was looking forward to a bogey-free round.”

He also revealed he had benefitted from a putting lesson from two-time Major Champion José  Maria Olazábal.

“I asked him for advice, and he really committed himself,” he said. “We worked together for more than two hours. I am working on my timing and my swing line with the tips he gave me.

“Tomorrow I will follow the same strategy, I will play a shot at a time. You cannot force this type of course. I enjoy being up there and playing to win. I prefer to be in the last match and sort of keep an eye on things, although anything can happen on this course. Anybody within six shots has a chance.”
 

Edberg, currently without a European Tour card after failing to come through the Qualifying School last November, got off to a rocky start with three bogeys in the first five holes.

The 31 year old came back with birdies at the sixth, seventh and 12th, but could not salvage his par on the short 13th and three putted for another bogey two holes later.

“I found the course much more difficult than yesterday,” said the Swede. “We had a lot more wind coming from everywhere, and did not putt half as well as the first two days and three-putted three times.

“If tomorrow is as windy as today, we will have to do as today and just try to hit fairways, and greens… but if it is not this windy, we will surely attack.  Either way, windy or not, I’m looking forward to tomorrow and feeling pretty good about it.”
 
Hanson, who pipped Edberg to the SAS Masters in Stockholm two years ago, looked his biggest danger when he played the first 16 in five under to be only one behind.

But he bogeyed the last two, while Wood, having produced a brilliant birdie on the 17th, missed a three footer for another at the last and had to settle for a 68.

"It was a mixed bag - I couldn't get any momentum," said the Englishman hoping for his first European Tour title.

"Overall a 68 is a pretty good score, but I can't make a putt and it's very frustrating."

Hanson added: "The last two are tough holes, but you should be able to make par on them and it's a little disappointing. My putting is not where I want it to be."


 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1CAÑIZARES, AlejandroESP18-6
T1HANSON, PeterSWE18-6
3KINGSTON, JamesRSA18-2
4CÉVAËR, ChristianFRA18-1
T5WOOD, ChrisENG18Par
T5HEND, ScottAUS18Par
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