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Mark Foster opens three shot advantage

Mark Foster was poised to end a seven-year wait for his second European Tour victory when he took a three-shot lead after the Spanish Open third round on Saturday.

A three-under-par 69 in gusty conditions at the Real Club gave Foster a 12-under total of 204, three ahead of Spanish pair Alvaro Quiros (67) and Carlos Del Moral (70) and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin (71).

As overnight leader Johan Edfors of Sweden collapsed with a 76 for 210, the 34-year-old Foster produced a solid round containing four birdies and one dropped shot.

Much was expected of Foster after he won three big amateur titles and a place in the victorious 1995 Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team against United States.

While his Walker Cup team mates at Royal Porthcawl, triple major champion Padraig Harrington and 2006 PGA champion David Howell, went on to claim Ryder Cup honours the professional career of Foster’s has been a much quieter affair.

When he won a six-man playoff at the 2003 Dunhill Championship in South Africa, golfing pundits expected the Englishman to kick on but he has since suffered a barren spell.

“This is yet another chance for me, I’ve never hid away and I’m in a good frame of mind for the final round,” he told reporters.

“These are the positions I have to get in if I want to win again.”

Foster’s chief rival on Sunday could be the long-hitting Quiros, who decided to play here this week rather than the Quail Hollow Championship in North Carolina.

The highest ranked player in the field at number 35, the Spaniard can occasionally be wayward and the triple tour winner hooked his ball into the lake at the last hole on Saturday.

Jacquelin is also a proven winner with two titles, including the 2005 Madrid Open, but Del Moral is relatively unknown and only qualified for the event through the Spanish Order of Merit.



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