Nacho Elvira blasts his way to six-shot lead at Celtic Manor

Third-round 66 sees Spanish golfer move to 16 under as his return to form continues

Nacho Elvira of Spain plays out of a greenside bunker on the  18th  during the third round of the Cazoo Open  at Celtic Manor Resort  in Newport, Wales. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Nacho Elvira of Spain plays out of a greenside bunker on the 18th during the third round of the Cazoo Open at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

Nacho Elvira will take a six-shot lead into the final round of the Cazoo Open in Wales after continuing his remarkable return to form at Celtic Manor.

The Spaniard has not had a top 10 in over two years and arrived at the 2021 Ryder Cup venue having made just two of his last 11 cuts but rounds of 64, 67 and 66 put him in total control at 16 under in South Wales.

England’s Callum Shinkwin matched the lowest round of the week with a 63 on day three but may need to repeat that feat if he is to have a chance of reining in the leader, who is looking for his first win on the European Tour.

Elvira bogeyed the first after starting with a two-shot advantage but responded with birdies on the second, fifth, ninth, 11th, 14th and 17th.

“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “But to be honest, I don’t care at the moment. I struggled a bit the last year, year-and-a-half, not with form but it’s golf – mentally, a little bit physically, battling with an injury. I’m happy playing golf again and being in the moment.

“I struggled a bit this year. To be in contention is a gift. It shows that the work I’ve been doing is paying off. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow but I’m happy with the way I am to be honest.”

Shinkwin used his distance to take advantage of the four par 5s and the driveable par-4 15th, with a 30-foot putt on the l7th bringing one of his three other gains.

“Nacho is a good player,” he said. “When he’s in front he keeps going. The likelihood of catching him is not going to happen, but never say never.

“Anyone out here can win, there’s so many people who can win. It’s tough. Winning is hard on the European Tour. There’s too many good players out there who can shoot good numbers on last days and come through.”

American Chase Hanna, South African Justin Harding and Finn Mikko Korhonen were alongside Shinkwin at 10 under, a shot clear of another Englishman in Sam Horsfield.

Ryder Cup hopeful Matt Wallace cut a frustrated figure in his 70, breaking a club after slamming it into the ground on the 16th and finishing the day at eight under.

Oliver Farr led the home charge at six under, where he sat alongside Scot Calum Hill and England’s Jordan Wrisdale.

Dubliner Niall Kearney enjoyed his best round of the week, his four-under 67, including an eagle two on the 15th, moving him to three under for the tournament.

Leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated, par 71

197 Nacho Elvira (Esp) 64 67 66

203 Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 66 70 67, Justin Harding (Rsa) 68 69 66, Callum Shinkwin 68 72 63, Chase Hanna (USA) 67 69 67

204 Sam Horsfield 67 72 65

205 Matt Wallace 67 68 70, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 71 63 71

206 Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 68 68 70

207 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 67 73 67, Calum Hill 69 70 68, Oliver Farr 73 69 65, Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 71 69 67, Wil Besseling (Ned) 70 71 66, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 68 75 64, Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den) 71 70 66, Jordan Wrisdale 67 73 67

208 Richard McEvoy 74 68 66, David Drysdale 68 71 69,

208 Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 69 71 68, James Morrison 66 76 66, Ricardo Santos (Por) 71 72 65, Svn-Hwan Kim (USA) 69 70 69, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 67 75 66

209 Wade Ormsby (Aus) 67 72 70, John Catlin (USA) 68 73 68, Hugo Leon (Chi) 72 69 68

210 Vincent Norrman (Swe) 64 69 77, Oliver Fisher 73 69 68, Connor Syme 72 70 68, Niall Kearney 71 72 67

211 Richard Mansell 68 73 70, Ashley Chesters 73 69 69, Laurie Canter 76 68 67

212 Steven Brown 69 74 69, David Law 70 73 69, Brad Kennedy (Aus) 70 69 73, Alex Fitzpatrick 70 74 68, Richie Ramsay 70 73 69, Marc Warren 73 70 69, Benjamin Poke (Den) 72 69 71, Clement Sordet (Fra) 73 71 68, Lee Slattery 70 71 71, Romain Wattel (Fra) 71 68 73, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 72 70 70

213 Matthias Schmid (Ger) 73 70 70, Bryden MacPherson (Aus) 67 76 70, Jordan Smith 69 72 72, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 69 73 71, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 72 71 70, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 69 74 70, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 71 70 72, Bradley Dredge 72 71 70

214 Alexander Levy (Fra) 72 72 70, Archie Davies 69 75 70, David Dixon 74 70 70

215 Aaron Rai 68 73 74, Toby Tree 70 71 74, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp) 73 70 72, Ben Evans 70 72 73

216 Chris Wood 71 72 73, Scott Hend (Aus) 71 72 73, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 73 69 74

217 Robert Rock 67 77 73, David Howell 72 72 73

218 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 71 77

222 Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha) 74 70 78

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