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Flawless Spaniard grabs share of lead

Updated: 2013-10-27 08:12
By China Daily ( China Daily)

Cabrera-Bello cards fine 67 to set up duel with Guthrie at BMW Masters

Rafael Cabrera-Bello posted a bogey-free round of 67 to catch long-time leader Luke Guthrie on the third day of the BMW Masters in Shanghai.

The Spaniard flew out of the blocks at Lake Malaren Golf Club with successive birdies, before making further gains at the seventh, 11th and 17th holes to wipe out the deficit to Guthrie, who remained on eight under after signing for a level par round of 72.

Cabrera-Bello's last victory came at the 2012 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, but the 851,500 euros ($117,500) he would collect for winning the first tournament in the Final Series would be comfortably the biggest check of his career.

"Starting with two birdies was obviously great. It gave me confidence straight away, but just because you get off to a good start doesn't always mean you're going to have a good round. But I stayed patient, and luckily more birdies kept coming," he said.

"It wasn't easy, because even though it was warmer today, it was still quite breezy. The forecast was for the wind to die down, but it only started to die down right at the end of our round. So although it wasn't as strong as yesterday or the first day, it was still very challenging.

"So I'm happy with how I played, and hopefully tomorrow I can keep those feelings and take them onto the golf course with me. I just want to go out there, play my best and enjoy the day."

For much of the day, Guthrie had looked like retaining the lead he has held on his own since opening with a stunning round of 65, but two bogeys over his final three holes meant his is not the only name at the very top of the leaderboard.

Flawless Spaniard grabs share of lead

Despite the late blip, however, the 23-year-old was still confident of following his friend and compatriot Peter Uihlein into the winners' enclosure on the European Tour.

"Overall, I was hitting it well and putting well for the most part, but I just let a few shots get away from me towards the end, and that's never fun. But I'm tied for the lead going into tomorrow, and I'm excited about what the final day holds," Guthrie said.

"I'm sure there will be a few nerves in the morning, but that's a good thing. Even though I may look calm on the outside, inside I think all of us get pretty pumped up when you're in that situation. It's a great feeling as a competitor, so bring it on. I'm excited."

Another Spaniard, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, is in third place on seven under after matching Cabrera-Bello's round of 67.

Fernandez-Castano's day ended on a bright note with a rare birdie on the tough finishing hole, and he will go in search of his seventh European Tour title on what promises to be an exciting last day in Shanghai.

Frenchman Gregory Bourdy is also in contention after climbing to six under courtesy of a round of 67, while the Scottish duo of Scott Jamieson and Craig Lee share fifth place on five under par.

World No 6 Rory McIlroy had threatened to trouble the leaders after reeling off four birdies in succession after the turn, but he dropped back to two under after closing with a double-bogey six.

 Flawless Spaniard grabs share of lead

Rafael Cabrera-Bello hits out of a sand trap on the 18th hole during the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai on Saturday on his way to a share of the lead. Carlos Barria / Reuters

Flawless Spaniard grabs share of lead

(China Daily 10/27/2013 page8)

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