Saturday, 21 October 2017
Daniel Brooks  (Getty Images)
Daniel Brooks (Getty Images)

Daniel Brooks found his form at the perfect time to take the lead on day three of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

The Englishman entered this week knowing he needed to finish eighth or better to have a chance of keeping his playing privileges for next season and went into round three six shots off the lead at level par.

He then produced a stunning run at one of Europe's toughest courses, playing the first 16 holes at Real Club Valderrama in seven under to open up a one-shot lead over Sergio Garcia.

Brooks has just one top ten in 30 events this season but knows how to get over the line on the European Tour, having won the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI in 2014.

Garcia played his first ten holes in one under to sit a shot ahead of overnight leader Joost Luiten and two clear of Welshman Jamie Donaldson 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.

Brooks 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.

England's Ben Evans needs a top-35 finish to have a chance of keeping his card and he birdied the fourth before giving the shot straight back on the next.

Jamieson holed a long putt on the fourth but that was not good enough to keep pace with Brooks who tapped in a fourth birdie in a row on the par five 11th to join the lead.

Garcia got into bunker trouble on the fifth and made it two bogeys in a row on the next to be replaced in a share of the lead by Luiten who birdied the fourth.

Gouveia dropped shots on the fifth and seventh to drop back to where he started the day at three under and Evans soon joined him as he also bogeyed the seventh.

Donaldson had birdied the first and bogeyed the seventh but back-to-back gains on the ninth and tenth moved him up to four under.

Garcia had bogeyed the eighth on days one and two but he played it beautifully on Saturday, hitting a big drive into the greenside bunker and playing a stunning shot from the sand for a birdie.

Luiten dropped a shot on the seventh and when Brooks put his tee-shot on the par three 15th to tap-in range, the 30 year old was threatening the course record and led by two.

Brooks then dropped a first shot of the day on the 16th with Luiten bogeying the ninth and Jamieson dropping shots on the ninth and tenth.

Wade Ormsby is still not certain of keeping his card for next season but a 67 boosted those chances as he held the clubhouse lead at three under alongside Evans, Gouveia, Anders Hansen, Pablo Larrazábal and Shane Lowry.

A double-bogey on the 12th dropped Johnston to two under alongside Julian Suri.

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