Thomas Bjorn (Getty Images)
Eduardo De La Riva reached the turn as joint-leader of the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity after Thomas Bjorn had set down a marker with a fabulous 64.
The Dane, looking to finish inside the top three for the third time in his last four tournaments, posted an outward 30 to position himself alongside the front runners.
De La Riva dropped a shot at the first but responded with birdies on two and three before six straight pars ensured he was keeping Bjorn company as joint-leader on 11 under par.
His streak of steady pars were done in more far conventional style than Miguel Angel Jiminez’s four at the second.
His approach was destined to go close to the pin yet struck a sprinkler head and popped up over the back of the green, only narrowly missing the water. The Spaniard avoided dropping a shot, though, and gains at three, four and six kept one of the Tour’s most popular figures within sight of the summit.
The final pairing were unable to drag themselves clear of the chasing pack with both overnight leader Joost Luiten and Paul Waring struggling on the greens.
The duo both three-putted the fifth, a feat Waring repeated on the next in registering par. Yet the Englishman’s glorious pin-seeking chip in to the eighth saw him gain one shot back.
Waring and Luiten were joined by Jorge Campillo and Hennie Otto in the cluster of players just one adrift of Bjorn and De La Riva.