Open de Espana: Paul Dunne leads with Jon Rahm two strokes back

Highlights from the third round of the Open de Espana at the Centro Nacional de Golf in Madrid

Paul Dunne will take a one-shot lead in to the final round of the Open de Espana, where home favourite Jon Rahm stayed in contention.

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The Irishman posted a four-under 68 at Centro Nacional de Golf to hold on to his overnight advantage ahead of playing partner Nacho Elvira, who fired a second successive 66.

Rahm matched Elvira’s 66 to sit in tied-third and two strokes back alongside Sweden’s Henric Sturehed, with Andy Sullivan four off the pace after a round-of-the-day 65.

“There was a lot of grinding there on the back nine, but I’m happy to get in with four under,” Dunne told Sky Sports. “I probably wouldn’t have taken of it at the start of the day, but given the shots I hit I’m pretty happy with it.”

Taking a three-shot lead in to the weekend, Dunne saw his lead cut to one when Elvira opened with back-to-back birdies, as Rahm closed the gap by birdieing three of his opening six holes.

Jon Rahm reflects on staying within two of the lead at the Open de Espana

Dunne responded by firing a hat-trick of gains from the fifth and holed a par-save putt from the fringe at the ninth to reach the turn two ahead, only for Elvira to begin the back nine with successive birdies.

A tap-in birdie from Dunne at the 12th was cancelled out by Elvira getting up-and-down from the bunker to make a close-range gain at the next, with the Spaniard adding another from five feet at the 16th to halve the deficit.

Paul Dunne reflects on posting a third-round 68 and staying top of the leaderboard in Madrid

Dunne recovered from finding water off the 17th tee to salvage a bogey, as Elvira also dropped a shot on the par-three, before the pair exchanged two-putt gains on the final hole.

Rahm mixed seven birdies with a sole blemish to get to 15 under alongside Sturehed, who missed his first six cuts on the European Tour this season, with Brett Rumford a further shot back in fifth spot.

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April 15, 2018, 1:00pm

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