Marc Warren tames the wind to lead Spanish Open

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Scotland’s Marc Warren will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Spanish Open after a superb 68 in tough, windy conditions at El Saler.

Rutherglen-born Warren carded six birdies and two bogeys to finish eight under par, with compatriot Craig Lee, from Stirling, his nearest challenger after a 70 and English pair David Horsey (66) and Paul Waring (69) a shot further back.

“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,” the 32-year-old said.

“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 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 a driver as hard as you want.

“A hole like 16 here is a really long par four, but I am still hitting a two iron off that tee and going in with a four iron and just having to invent shots and use your imagination a little bit.”

Warren, who became a father for the first time last month, has won twice on the European Tour after a successful amateur career which culminated in playing on the winning Walker Cup team in 2001 with the likes of Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell.

However, his last victory came back in 2007, the same year he partnered Colin Montgomerie to Scotland’s first World Cup victory in a play-off with the United States in China.

“I’m very excited, but I’m going to have to play as well as I did today to try and win this thing,” Warren added. “Being very patient will be the key.”