Aiken leads Spanish Open field mourns Ballesteros


European TourTERRASSA, Spain – Thomas Aiken maintained his lead after a somber third day of the Spanish Open overshadowed by the death of golf great Seve Ballesteros.

The South African shot par 72 on Saturday for an 8-under total of 208, two shots ahead of a group of four players.

Aiken, seeking his first European Tour win, bogeyed the seventh hole but responded immediately with a birdie. He then hit a birdie on No. 11.

“Seve’s charisma is an inspiration for all of us,” Aiken said. “He played with passion and determination. We must put things in perspective in order to value everything he did for golf. Seve will somehow never die.”

First-round leader Scott Jamieson, Andres Hansen, Romain Wattel, and Pablo Larrazabal are tied for second place.

A moment of silence was held for Ballesteros at El Prat course under an overcast sky. Afterward, Spanish golfers Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez embraced in tears, mourning the loss of their countryman.

Olazabal shot 3 over for the round and is 11 strokes off the lead, along with Jimenez.