Jon Rahm set to overtake Shane Lowry at top of Race to Dubai

Spaniard will take five shot lead into final round at Mutuactivos Open de Espana

Jon Rahm of Spain holes a birdie putt on the 13th hole during day three of the Open de Espana in Madrid. Photograph: Luke Walker/Getty Images

Jon Rahm of Spain holes a birdie putt on the 13th hole during day three of the Open de Espana in Madrid. Photograph: Luke Walker/Getty Images

 

Home favourite Jon Rahm will take a five-shot lead into the final round of the Mutuactivos Open de Espana after a remarkable back nine of 28 on day three in Madrid. The defending champion was two shots off the lead at the turn after back-to-back bogeys in the Spanish capital but carded five birdies and a hole-out eagle on his way back to the clubhouse to sign for a 63 and sit at 17 under.

Countrymen Rafa Cabrera Bello and Samuel Del Val were his closest challengers at Club de Campo but they have a mountain to climb if they are to deny the world number five a third worldwide win of the season and a place at the top of the Race to Dubai standings, overtaking Shane Lowry in the process.

With a win Rahm will take a narrow lead over the Irishman but the Spaniard does not plan on playing on the European Tour again until the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in November, meaning Lowry will immediately have the chance to re-take top spot at next week's Italian Open.

“I’ve never teed up with such a lead,” Rahm told europeantour.com. “Every time I’ve teed off it’s been a one-shot lead or tied for the lead so it’s going to be a little bit of a different story.

“I don’t know what the challenge is going to be. I have a real good chance to defend this title, I’m feeling good so hopefully I can keep doing what I’ve been doing. It’s just one of those days where everything was going good for me on that back nine.”

After turning in 35, some fantastic approach play coupled with an up-and-down from the sand at the par-five 14th saw Rahm birdie five of his first six holes on the back nine, before holing out from the fairway for an eagle on the par-four 16th.

World number 1,413 Del Val is currently without playing rights on any major tour and he chipped in on the 16th before birdieing the last in a 69, while 2016 Ryder Cup star Cabrera Bello carded a 70. Swede Jens Dentorp was at 11 under, with England’s Steven Brown, Scot Calum Hill and Welshman Jamie Donaldson all 10 shots off the lead.

Collated third round scores (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 71)

196 Jon Rahm (Spa) 66 67 63

201 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 66 65 70, Samuel Del Val (Spa) 67 65 69

202 Jens Dantorp (Swe) 67 70 65

203 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 65 66 72, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 67 68 68, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 67 67 69

205 Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 69 69 67, Justin Harding (Rsa) 69 72 64, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 71 69 65, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 70 67 68

206 Steven Brown 68 68 70, Jamie Donaldson 66 71 69, Calum Hill 69 72 65, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 70 68 68, Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 69 67, Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus) 70 71 65

207 Brett Rumford (Aus) 70 71 66, Ross Fisher 69 68 70, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 72 70 65, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 69 69 69, Jack Singh Brar 68 69 70, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 65 72, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 69 67 71, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 69 69 69

208 Sihwan Kim (Kor) 67 74 67, Jeff Winther (Den) 70 69 69, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 66 75 67, Chris Hanson 68 74 66, Per Langfors (Swe) 68 68 72, Joel Girrbach (Swi) 73 67 68

209 Alejandro Larrazabal (Spa) 70 69 70, Nick McCarthy 70 68 71, Clement Sordet (Fra) 74 68 67, Ashun Wu (Chn) 68 71 70, David Horsey 71 70 68, James Morrison 70 70 69, Lee Slattery 69 73 67, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 66 71 72, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 71 68 70, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 72 69 68, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 67 69 73, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 70 70 69, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 73 66 70

210 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 72 68 70

211 Marcel Siem (Ger) 66 69 76, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 67 73 71, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 68 71 72, Andres Romero (Arg) 76 66 69, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 68 73 70, David Lipsky (USA) 68 73 70, Eduardo De La Riva (Spa) 68 73 70, Ryan Lumsden 70 70 71, Johannes Veerman (USA) 71 71 69, John Catlin (USA) 71 71 69

212 Kristian Krogh Johannessen (Nor) 63 73 76, Ben Evans 71 68 73, Julian Suri (USA) 72 70 70, Matthew Nixon 67 75 70, Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (Spa) 70 69 73, Borja Virto (Spa) 70 69 73, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 70 69 73

213 Jake McLeod (Aus) 68 70 75, Grant Forrest 73 69 71

214 S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 70 71 73, Anton Karlsson (Swe) 70 71 73

215 Justin Walters (Rsa) 69 72 74

216 David Drysdale 69 72 75

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