Pair of Brits Take Lead at Barcelona
New day, new leader at Barcelona’s Open de Espana.
For the third straight day, new names sat atop the leader board at the Real Club de Golf El Prat, this time the UK’s James Morrison and David Howell.
Morrison rose seven places with his 4-under 68, and Howell jumped four spots with his 3-under 69. No player has recorded three straight sub-70 rounds in the tournament.
Morrison looked nothing like the co-leader early, staggering to a double-bogey 7 on No. 2 before rallying to four birdies in the next five holes to reach the turn 2-under. He added three more birdies and one bogey on the back nine.
Morrison is ranked 296th in the world, but has had a solid European Tour season to date, including a tie for 18th last month at the Volvo China Open.
Morrison, who turned 30 this year, has one prior win, the 2010 Madeira Islands Open.
Howell could really secure a place in the Race to Dubai with a win here, coming into the tournament ranked 14th in the points chase. He was 4-under through seven holes, but double-bogeyed No. 8 and had two bogeys on the back nine to keep him out of the individual lead.
Howell has finished second and fourth in his last two events, and is looking for his first victory since the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The pair have a 2-stroke lead on Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who moved up from eighth by firing a 2-under 70.
Friday’s leader, France’s Edouard Espana, tumbled to sixth place with an ungainly 4-over 76. After recording just two bogeys in his first two rounds, Espana had three plus a double on Saturday.
After barely making the cut, Sergio Garcia had his best round of the week, a 5-under 67 to reach 2-under, tying him for seventh. Garcia is still ranked No. 7 in the world, but he hasn’t had a Top 10 finish since last August.
Day One leader Trevor Fisher Jr. remained tied for 16th after firing a 73. Making a slight move up was defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, who shot his second 72 in three days and is now 1-under, tied for 13th.