Report by Anand Datla
May 16, 2015: Jeev Milkha Singh fought hard for a third straight round at the Open de Espana, and even though he settled for a 74 in the third round, that was good enough to leave him inside the top 30 through 54 holes. On a day when low scores were hard to come by, Jeev made three bogeys and a birdie on his march around the Real Club de Golf El Prat in Barcelona.
Sergio Garcia was at his impressive best carding a 5-under 67 with seven birdies. The lead remained at 7-under even though the men at the top suffered a shuffle – David Howell (69) & James Morrison (68) held the lead going into the final round.
Jeev made seven straight pars to begin his round, appearing intent on keeping his boat steady on a difficult day for golf. But two bogeys in three holes from there saw the Indian slip away into over territory.
Another bogey at the par-3 13th hole meant that Milkha Singh was three over with five holes still to be dealt with. As he started to run out of time, Jeev produced a fine birdie at the 15th hole to mitigate some of the damage, but it was too little too late.
He finished the day with three straight pars to sign off at two over 218 through 54 holes. Jeev will need to find a low score on Sunday to try and break into the top 20 at this elite European Tour event.
Garcia was mighty impressive, almost pushing the weather and the course into the backdrop with his brilliant wizardry with the clubs. The Spaniard needed just 33 shots through the first nine holes – birdies at 2, 4 & 6 cushioning his card.
The 7th ranked golfer climbed 47 spots on the leader board to leap inside the top 10 with four more birdies on the back nine. And even though he gave away consecutive bogeys at the 12th and 13th, he repaired the loss immediately with two straight birdies at the next two holes.
Overnight leader Edouard Espana shot a 76 to slip five spots, underlining the challenge posed to the golfers in the third round. Francesco Molinari lay third, two shots behind Morrison and Howell.
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