Marc Warren will take two-shot lead into final round of Spanish Open after 68
Last Updated: April 21, 2013 11:32am
Marc Warren will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Spanish Open after a fine third round of 68 took him clear of the field.
The Scot started the day two behind overnight leader Peter Uihlein, but produced a measured display on an extremely blustery day at the Parador de El Saler lay-out in Valencia to make his way to the top of the leaderboard.
Warren mixed six birdies, three on the front nine and three on the back, with two bogeys to finish 'moving day' on eight-under-par, two clear of fellow Scot Craig Lee who posted a 70.
The 32-year-old from Rutherglen will now be looking to secure his third European Tour title on Sunday and a first on the circuit for nearly six years.
Warren's 68 was not the round of the day, though, that was a 66 that belonged to David Horsey and saw the early starting Englishman leap through the field into a share of third on five-under alongside compatriot Paul Waring (69).
Uihlein, who struggled to control his driver on Saturday, eventually signed for a two-over 74 that left him four strokes off the pace and in a tie for fifth with David Howell (71), Maximilian Kiefer (69) and Rapahel Jacquelin (73).
But it was Warren who stole the show, getting his round moving by making birdie at the two opening par-fives, the third and fifth holes, the second courtesy of a superbly-judged bump-and-run from off the back of the green.
Having drained a ten-footer at seven for his third birdie, he dropped a shot at the ninth, but responded straight away by nudging home a tricky down-hiller at ten to get back to seven-under and into the lead.
Third round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-8 M Warren
-6 C Lee
-5 D Horsey
-5 P Waring
Click here for collated scores
Another birdie followed at the short 12th - his fifth 'two' of the week - and after a bogey at 14, he adding his final birdie of the day at the long 15th to give himself a bit of breathing space at the top.
"I think that's the best I've played in a long time on a course as tough as this and in conditions as tough as this," Warren told Sky Sports afterwards.
"The wind changed a little bit today as well and made the course even tougher than the first two days. We saw the scoring wasn't great the first two days and it's a testament to the course set-up and how good a golf course this actually is.
"I much prefer this type of golf to some more modern courses where it's just a bombers' paradise where you just stand up and hit driver as hard as you want."