Jon Rahm chasing leader Paul Dunne entering final round of Spanish Open

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Jon Rahm chasing leader Paul Dunne entering final round of Spanish Open

Euro Tour

Jon Rahm chasing leader Paul Dunne entering final round of Spanish Open

Ireland’s Paul Dunne remains on course for his second European Tour victory, but he’ll have a couple of home players breathing down his neck in the final round of the $1.8 million Spanish Open. 

The 25-year-old former UAB star returned a third-round 68 to move to 17 under and maintain the lead he’s held since the first round. He holds a one-shot advantage over home hope Nacho Elvira. World No. 4 Jon Rahm is two shots behind at 15 under, tied for third with Sweden’s Henric Sturehed. 

Dunne only dropped one shot over the Centro de Nacional Golf course in Madrid. A bogey at the par-3 17th hole spoiled his card.

“It’s probably the best my swing has felt, the best my body has felt like it’s been moving, but I just didn’t pull the shots off,” Dunne said.

“There was a lot of grinding there on the back nine, but I’m happy to get in with four under. Probably wouldn’t have taken it at the start of the day but given the shots that I hit, I’m pretty happy with it leading into tomorrow.

“Everything feels good, the game feels great, I just didn’t pick shots. I hit a few shots without having a shot in mind so that’s something to work on for tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have a good day. I’m confident about tomorrow.” 

Dunne will be looking for the same magic that gave him his first European Tour win last October. The 2015 Walker Cup player fired a final-round 61 at Close House to win the British Masters. He had Rory McIlroy to contend with on that occasion. McIlroy returned a closing 63 but had to settle for second, three shots behind Dunne.

Elvira is looking for his first European Tour win in his fifth full season on Tour. Second in the 2016 Trophée Hassan II is the nearest he’s been to a victory, although he has four Challenge Tour wins.

Rahm posted a 66 to stay in the hunt in his home open. Like Dunne, he only had one dropped shot on his card, a bogey at the par-3, 14th.

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