Paul Dunne stays on course for victory in Spanish Open

Paul Dunne is on course for his second European title. Picture: Getty.
Paul Dunne is on course for his second European title. Picture: Getty.
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Ireland’s Paul Dunne carded a four-under-par 68 to lead the field by one shot ahead of the final round of the Open de Espana.

Dunne, who began the day three strokes clear, registered five birdies and a bogey to reach 17-under-par but Spaniard Nacho Elvira stayed in contention with seven gains and two dropped shots in his third round.

World No 4 Jon Rahm and Sweden’s Henric Sturehed finished on 
15 under after both players recorded six-under 66 cards, with Australia’s Brett Rumford a shot further adrift in fifth and England’s Andy Sullivan sitting in sixth.

Marc Warren ended the day as the leading Scot in joint seventh at 12 under after a second consecutive round of 69, while fellow countryman Bradley Neil shot a 68 to sit in a tie for tenth place at 11 under.

Dunne opened up with four pars before a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth moved him two clear of Spaniard Rahm and Sturehed and a gain at the 12th put the Irishman further ahead.

He handed that stroke back at the penultimate hole to remain at 16 under but the 25-year-old finished with a flourish with his fifth birdie to remain on course for his second European Tour title.

“It’s probably the best my swing has felt, the best my body has felt like it’s been moving, but I just didn’t pull the shots off,” Dunne told Sky Sports.

“There was a lot of grinding there on the back nine but I’m happy to get in with four under.

“I probably wouldn’t have taken it at the start of the day but, given the shots that I hit, I’m pretty happy with it leading into tomorrow.

“Hopefully it gives me a chance to win and we’ll see where it takes us.”