Aiken pulls clear in Barcelona

08/05/2011 13:14:28
Thomas Aiken  (Getty Images)
Thomas Aiken (Getty Images)

Thomas Aiken was in sight of his first European Tour title after doubling his lead to four shots in the first six holes of the Open de España final round at El Prat near Barcelona.

With players again wearing black ribbons in memory of three-time winner Seve Ballesteros, the 27 year old from Johannesburg birdied the second and sixth to reach ten under par.

Sharing second place were former Ryder Cup Welshman Phillip Price, Dane Anders Hansen and Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal.

Jose Maria Olazábal, mourning the loss of his great friend and ex-cup partner Ballesteros, managed only a 77 and fell outside the top 50 on eight over.

Hansen hit his approach to three feet on the 466 yard ninth and then lipped out with his approach to the 12th, but in between Aiken birdied the short 11th from eight feet and so he entered the final six holes three in front at 11 under.

Frenchman Gregory Havret, runner-up to Graeme McDowell at last June's US Open Championship, was one further back in third.