Jonathan Yates is just six shots back ahead of the final round of the Open Mirabelle in France.
The Naas professional, who enjoyed a top-20 finish last time out on Alps Tour duty, added a three-under par 68 to his superb opening 66 to move to eight-under par for the tournament.
On Saturday, Yates posted three birdies and an eagle around Golf de la Grange aux Ormes but trails a pair of Spaniards at the top of the board leading the way at 14-under par.
Lucas Vacarisaswas first into the clubhouse having teed off in the morning from the first. Friday’s leader had another good first few holes with three birdies and three pars up to the 6th.
“Today, I started playing very well like yesterday,” he said. “I’m very calm and I’m playing my golf. I enjoyed the day. The course is good for my game because it requires good tee shots and my drives have been good.”
Alejandro Del Rey, who started the day two shots behind his countryman, teed off in the afternoon from the tenth. As he admitted, it took him time to get into gear:
“Today was a bit different from yesterday. I had to grind around a little bit more. I started really slow and made a couple of mistakes. I didn’t hit the shots close enough so I made just one birdie and one bogey. My short game worked which is what kept me in the round I guess.”
However, things really started looking up on the back nine and right until the 18th he looked poised to take the lead:
“I started the back nine and played really, really, well. I took advantage of the good opportunities on the short holes, made four birdies in a row and an eagle and finished with a pretty good round so I’m happy about it.”
That gave him a superb -6 (29) coming in and -6 (65) for the day and joint first position.
As for the other Irish in the field, the trio of Damian Mooney (+4), Gary Hurley (+7) and Peter Dallat (+7) all missed the two-under par cut mark.
Full scoring HERE
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