Simon Dyson, the highest-ranked player in the field at 36th in the world, took over at the top in the rain-delayed third round of the Reale Seguros Spanish Open in Seville today.
There was a delay of nearly two hours to clear flooded greens and bunkers, but then six-time European Tour winner Dyson showed his class.
After failing to get up and down from sand on the first the 34-year-old Yorkshireman birdied the second, fourth and fifth while others struggled.
Overnight leader Gregory Bourdy three-putted the first and third, Dyson’s compatriot Robert Rock bogeyed the opening three holes and 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero, also four under when he resumed, bogeyed the second and dropped three more strokes at the fourth after driving into a bush.
On six under par Dyson led by a stroke from Spain’s Challenge Tour graduate Jorge Campillo and by two from Bourdy, Dane Soren Kjeldsen – a former winner on the course – and another of the home contingent, Pablo Larrazabal.
Nobody had more problems than Chile’s Felipe Aguilar. In his last three holes Aguilar had a triple bogey and two double bogeys for a round of 85 that sent him tumbling to 16 over and last place.
Dyson sank par putts of seven and 10 feet at the seventh and ninth, so turned in a fine 34.
He was still one in front, but it was now Larrazabal – third last year – who had become his closest challenger after a superb chip on the long 13th brought him his fourth birdie in six holes.
Campillo three-putted the eighth to be in third, with Bourdy and Ireland’s Peter Lawrie tied for fourth three strokes behind.