Warren makes his move

4/20/2013 4:47:00 PM
Marc Warren  (Getty Images)
Marc Warren (Getty Images)

Scotland’s Marc Warren continued to find Parador de El Saler to his liking as his third-round 68 moved him into the lead at the Open de España.

Warren was the epitome of consistency over the tournament’s first two days, striking back to back 70s to be just adrift.

However, he produced better today and secured a two shot advantage over compatriot Craig Lee heading into the final round as other challengers faded.

Warren has had little trouble picking up birdies this week, but did a better job of eliminating mistakes as gains on three, five, seven, ten, 12 and 15 overshadowed bogeys on nine and 14.

“I am very pleased with today’s work,” he said. “They were tough conditions on a tough golf course so to shoot 68 is a very pleasing day.

“I like the fact you’ve got to hit so many different shots (in the wind). There was always something to the shots today and I felt as if I did well today. Hopefully that continues tomorrow.

“Concentration is paramount, especially on a course as tough as this one, and it will be tomorrow.”  

The hallmark of his play was an excellent short game with several outstanding up and downs being complemented by brilliance on the greens.

“To score well, you have to hole out well,” he added.

Lee, meanwhile, would have shared for the lead had it not been for a poor finish to an otherwise exemplary round.

Having picked up shots at four, five, 14 and 15, the 35 year old relinquished a space alongside Warren at the summit by giving two back on the 16th and 17th.

Yet he was still right in contention heading into what promises to be a thrilling Sunday given he lies outright second, a shot ahead of English pair David Horsey and Paul Waring.

Lee said: "I played well early on and manged to get a couple of birdies, but the end was difficult with the wind and I threw a couple (of shots) away.

“It is always frustrating (to end poorly). There were a couple of easy up and downs and I did not quite make the most of them.

“But I am delighted with the position that I am in; the game is pretty good and pretty steady.”

Horsey’s ascent up the leaderboard came on the back of delivering the day’s best round, a 66 that featured eight birdies.

After beginning the day one over, he caught fire either side of the turn having appeared set for a disappointing day when bogeys on the second and fifth came either side of picking up a shot at three.

He turned things around in stunning fashion by picking up shots on three successive holes from the sixth. Clearly buoyed, Horsey produced even better on the way in as further birdies came at ten, 13, 14 and 16 to leave him four under overall.

A further shot back alongside Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer, David Howell and France’s Raphaël Jacquelin was overnight leader Peter Uihlein.

It appeared the fledgling former US Amateur Champion would extend his advantage following a fast start; he began by holing a 20 footer for birdie and adding another on the third after his eagle pitch lipped out.

However, some stray shots thereafter created bogeys at six, 13, 16 and 17 to undermine a round that began with such promise.