Bekker leads the last round of the Catalunya Championship

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

Bekker, 11-under 205 for the tournament, had four birdies and just one bogey at the Stadium Course in northeastern Spain. Laurie Canter finished two strokes behind after entering the third round one stroke ahead of Bekker and James Morrison.

Bekker, a 37-year-old South African, is looking for his first European tour victory.

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

Canter (70) had five birdies and three bogeys. The Englishman, who was also looking for his first European tour victory, broke one of his clubs after hitting a tree as he tried to get out of the way on the 10th hole.

“The great thing about this course, I honestly 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, I have to go out and try to be top payer. If I can play like I did today and get a little more out of the round, I will have a chance.

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

It is the first time the European tour has taken place at the PGA Catalunya since Miguel Ángel Jiménez won the 2014 Spanish Open aged 50 to break his own record as the oldest winner on the tour. The site hosted the European qualifiers from 2008 to 2016.


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Edward K. Thompson