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Wild Finish on Tap in Spain

04 Open de SevillaSEVILLA, Spain -- Ricardo Gonzalez carded a 3-under 69 on Saturday to take the third-round lead at a highly-contested Open de Sevilla. Gonzalez finished with a 54-hole total of 11-under-par 205 and a one-shot edge over his closest competitors.
Alan McLean shot a 68 to join Emanuele Canonica in a tie for second at 10-under-par 206. Simon Khan, Robert-Jan Derksen, Stephen Gallacher, Mattias Nilsson and Bruno-Teva Lecuona followed at 8-under-par 208.
Gonzalez began the day one shot behind overnight leader and fellow Argentinean Cesar Monasterio, a 40-year-old playing his first full season on the European Tour. While Gonzalez is six years younger than Monasterio, the 34-year-old showed his experience Saturday at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla.
Gonzalez picked up a quick birdie at the par-4 first but gave that shot back with a bogey at the very next hole.
At the par-5 fifth, Gonzalez converted a 10-foot putt for a birdie and knocked his approach inside 30 feet at the par-4 sixth.
Gonzalez again drained the birdie putt to briefly take the lead at 10 under par.
As the top of the leaderboard became more and more congested, Gonzalez bogeyed the ninth to fall back to the pack. He made a push down the stretch, however, to assume the outright position heading into the weekend.
Gonzalez, who was struggling off the tee, showed off his short game and chipped in for a birdie at the par-4 15th.
'I'm embarrassed at my driving but I'm obstinate and kept on trying to hit the driver,' said Gonzalez, who won in Spain last year at the Open de Madrid. 'That's because I knew I was hitting the ball on the right all the time and on the right there isn't much trouble.'
He then two-putted for a birdie at the par-5 16th to reach 11 under in search of his third career victory on the European Tour.
Canonica, who is seeking his maiden victory on the European Tour, collected two birdies and a bogey over his first nine holes to remain near the lead all day.
The hard-hitting Italian took the lead on his own with a birdie at the 14th and moved to 11 under with a birdie at the par-4 15th after his approach stopped within five feet of the hole.
Canonica then bogeyed the 16th to give way to Gonzalez en route to a round of 70.
Soren Hansen posted a 68 to finish four shots off the pace at 7-under-par 209 along with Francois Delamontagne, Steven O'Hara and Jose Manuel Carriles.
Nick Dougherty, Raul Ballesteros, Nicolas Colsaerts, Klas Eriksson, Ivo Giner, Soren Kjeldsen, Jonathan Lomas, Martin Erlandsson and Jean-Francois Remesy are knotted at 6-under-par 210.
Monasterio had a difficult day as a front-runner with a 76 in the third round to finish in a group at 5-under-par 211.
Related Links:
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  • Full Coverage - Open de Sevilla