Saturday, 14 April 2018
Nacho Elvira - lines up a putt on the 11th hole during day two of the Open de Espana  (Getty Images)
Nacho Elvira - lines up a putt on the 11th hole during day two of the Open de Espana (Getty Images)

Nacho Elvira made two early birdies to cut Paul Dunne's lead to one shot on day three of the Open de España.

While all eyes may have been on World Number Four Jon Rahm at Centro Nacional de Golf, he was not the only home favourite going well and Elvira made a birdie-birdie start to get to 12 under after three holes.

Dunne started with three pars to stay at 13 under, two shots clear of clubhouse leader Jacques Kruyswijk, Rahm, Australian Brett Rumford and England's Callum Shinkwin.

Kruyswijk fired eight birdies in his first ten holes - including six in a row from the first - to get to 13 under and grab a share of the lead before Dunne had even teed off.

Talk of a 59 was quelled by a bogey on the 11th - although preferred lies would have kept Kruyswijk out of the history books - and when he double-bogeyed the 17th, he dropped into the large group at ten under.

That left Rahm as Dunne's nearest challenger as a he played a lovely chip into the first and an approach to tap-in range on the second to get within two of the leader.

Pedro Oriol was playing in the group in front of Kruyswijk and the home favourite signed for a 67 and a ten under par total.

He birdied the first, fifth, seventh and tenth and while he dropped a shot on the 11th, he followed it with two more gains. The 32 year old made a second bogey of the day on the 16th but once again bounced straight back.

Shinkwin birdied the second from 20 feet to join Rahm at 11 under and a nice approach from Elvira allowed him to take advantage of the first.

Kruyswijk then bounced back with a birdie on the last for a 66 and an 11 under total.

A putt from nearly 30 feet on the second brought Elvira a second birdie of the day and he was just a shot off the lead, with playing partner Dunne starting with two pars.

Dunne made another par on the third and so did Elvira but he had to work for it, holing a lengthy putt to get up and down from the back of the green.

Rumford then birdied the fourth to join the group two shots off the lead.

Andy Sullivan signed for a 63 on Friday and he continued to make progress, with five birdies and a bogey moving him to ten under after 11 holes.

Fellow Englishman Aaron Rai was also four under for the day through 13 holes, Spaniard Jorge Campillo was three under through nine - a score matched by American Sihwan Kim - while Swede Henric Sturehed and Scot Marc Warren were both one under in the early stages of their rounds.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1RAHM, JonESP18-20
2DUNNE, PaulIRL18-18
3ELVIRA, NachoESP18-17
4COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-16
T5WARREN, MarcSCO18-15

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