Saturday, 21 October 2017
Sergio Garcia  (Getty Images)
Sergio Garcia (Getty Images)

Home favourite Sergio Garcia made two early birdies to take the lead on day three of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

The Spaniard has won five of his 13 European Tour titles in his home country - including the last staging of this here at Real Club Valderrama in 2011 - and he picked up shots on the second and third to get to seven under.

Overnight leader Joost Luiten and England's Daniel Brooks were then at six under, a shot clear of two more Englishmen in Ben Evans and Robert Rock, and Scotland's Scott Jamieson.

Garcia started the day one shot behind Luiten but while the Dutchman started with three pars, Garcia put his approach to five feet on the second and then hit a smart tee-shot into the par three third.

The battle to keep playing privileges for next season was hotting up and Brooks - who needs to finish in the top eight to have chance - made birdies on the second, third, fifth and eighth to join the group at four under.

Andrew Johnston won here last season at the Real Club Valderrama Open de España, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation and he also moved into that group with birdies on the second and third.

Portuguese Ricardo Gouveia is less than 500 points outside the top ten on the Access List and he birdied the second and par five fourth to get to five under where he was soon joined by Brooks who birdied the ninth to turn in 30.

Another birdie on the tenth then moved Brooks within one of the lead.

Evans needs a top-35 finish to have a chance of keeping his card and he birdied the fourth to move alongside Jamieson and Rock who both parred their first three holes.

A Gouveia bogey on the fifth dropped him back alongside Johnston, a shot clear of Jamie Donaldson, Shane Lowry and Pablo Larrazábal.

American Julian Suri was then the clubhouse leader at two under after posting the lowest round of the week so far with a 65.

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