Bekker leads into last round in Catalunya


Oliver Bekker eagled the par-5 15th hole for the second straight day to shoot a 5-under 67 on Saturday and take a two-stroke lead going into the final round of the Catalunya Championship.

Bekker, 11-under 205 for the tournament, made four birdies and a lone bogey at the Stadium Course in northeastern Spain. Laurie Canter finished two shots back after coming into the third round a shot ahead of Bekker and James Morrison.

Bekker, a 37-year-old South African, is seeking his first European tour win.

“My short game really got me out of a bit of trouble today on a few occasions and I managed to capitalize on the shots that I did well,” he said. “Tomorrow I’m just going to do the same thing, it’s been working for me, I’m not going to change anything. If it’s my day, it’s my day, if not, just try to give my best and see what happens.”

Canter (70) made five birdies and three bogeys. The Englishman, also seeking his first European tour win, broke one of his clubs after it hit a tree while he tried to get out of trouble on the 10th hole.

“The great thing about this course, I genuinely think the best player is going to win over 72 holes,” he said. “In a way that’s good for me to feel like that, got to go out and try to be the best payer tomorrow. If I can play like I did today and get a bit more out of the round, I’ll have a chance.”

Italians Edoardo Molinari (66) and Lorenzo Gagli (65) were three shots off the lead entering the final round. Morrison ended six shots back after shooting a 73 that included three bogeys and a double bogey on his front nine.

This is the European tour’s first time at PGA Catalunya since Miguel Ángel Jiménez won the 2014 Spanish Open at age 50 to break his own record as oldest tour winner. The venue hosted European qualifying from 2008-16.

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