Foster clinging on to lead

5/2/2010 12:43:02 PM
Mark Foster  (Getty Images)
Mark Foster (Getty Images)

England's Mark Foster made hard work of defending his lead in the early stages of the Open de España final round in Seville.

The Worksop golfer got up and down to save par on the first two holes before missing the green on the short third as well and bogeying to slip back to 11 under.

From three clear overnight he was only one ahead of big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, who birdied the second, and also Welshman Stephen Dodd, who sank a 155 yard eight iron there for an eagle two.

Another Welshman, Jamie Donaldson, was also in the hunt at nine under - alongside Raphaël Jacquelin and Fabrizio Zanotti.

Foster finally settled with an approach to five feet on the fourth, but Quiros two-putted the long next and the gap was one in again.

The Malaga player bogeyed the short seventh, however, and failed to take advantage of his added length on the 545 yard ninth.

He found the water with his second and although he almost chipped in for birdie he turned two behind at ten under with France's Jacquelin and Foster's compatriot James Morrison, winner in Madeira three weeks ago.

When Foster failed to get up and down from a bunker on the short 11th he had no fewer than eight players only one behind him.

Former Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie was among them, but he then bogeyed the last for a 67 and nine under total that set the clubhouse target.

Foster failed to birdie the long 13th - he got up and down from sand for his five - and was caught first by Quiros, who was in the same bunker for two and birdied, and by Morrison, who hit a three iron to six feet on the difficult short 17th.

The European Tour rookie then gave himself an 18 foot chance on the last, but although he missed it his 67 left him with hopes of a second win in four weeks.

Quiros then bogeyed the 15th to leave the two Englishmen out in front on 11 under.