Bezuidenhout continues to master Valderrama
• Jon Rahm, main rival for the title of thee Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters
• The South African golfer, 5 shots ahead
• Six Spanish players in the top 15 at Valderrama
Christiaan Bezuidenhout will take a five shot lead over local hero Jon Rahm into the final round of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation as he looks for his first European Tour victory. World Number 11 Rahm recorded his best round as a professional at Real Club Valderrama with a 67 to sit at five under par alongside Japan's Hideto Tanihara, but the duo could not keep pace with Bezuidenhout, whose round of 69 took him to ten under par.
The South African arrived in Spain off the back of claiming third place at last week's BMW International Open. He came in to Saturday with a four shot lead, but with three birdies and just one bogey he managed to stretch that advantage on one of the toughest layouts on the Race to Dubai.
Tanihara carded a round of 68 to join Rahm in a tie for second place, two shots ahead of Belgian duo Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Detry. Tournament host Garcia and 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn are then in a group of nine players eight shots off the lead at two under par.
"“I take a lot from that. Definitely wasn’t my best ball striking day today. I made some great saves on the turn through seven to nine. Got all three up and down there, which kept the momentum going.
"Going into Sunday with a five shot lead is definitely nice. I’ll just keep playing my game and see how I finish up tomorrow
"Rahm is a great player, he’s top 15 in the world and he’s a legend in Spain so it will be quite an experience tomorrow. I haven’t played with him yet so I’m looking forward to the challenge and we’ll see how we go tomorrow."
"The biggest difference today was how I played off the tee, I can't recall missing many fairways. I always had a chance and on that front nine, I putted for birdie pretty much on every hole.
"There was maybe a little bit more commitment on some shots but that's only because I was always in the fairway and always had a chance.
"I'm confident, there's a lot of shots to make up and I'm also aware that every time you play here in the afternoon the wind is going to pick up, the greens are going to get a little firmer every single day. If I can get off to a good start and play as solid a nine holes as I did today, I give myself a chance on the back nine."
“It feels pretty good. For the last two days I’ve been a bit up and down on the back nine, every time I make a bogey I bounce back, which is pretty satisfying on a course that doesn’t give you many opportunities.
“Coming over the years you start to have an idea about how to play this place. I think the biggest difference is that my shot selection is a lot better off the tee, which is key on this golf course.”
"I’ll do the same thing tomorrow, there’s not much more I can do. I don’t know how to explain that I shot 73 the way I hit the ball, it just doesn’t make sense.
"That’s the way golf goes sometimes; the only thing I can do is play as well as I’ve been playing every single day, and hopefully everything that’s been going wrong goes right. If not, we’ll try to finish as high as possible. It’s disappointing because I feel I hit so many good shots and got nothing out of them, but that’s how it goes.”
“I played lovely - I haven’t played like that for a long time. Very happy just with a round of golf just now. Four weeks ago I was in a boot with a bad ankle, wasn’t really looking to be playing. I’m delighted with how that has turned out so that I can be out playing golf.
“It’s been a while since I have felt as good about my golf game as I did today. It’s funny what a good night’s sleep can do in golf.”
Tickets for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters 2019 hosted by the Sergio García Foundation are on sale now at the event website. For more information, see the event website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation, an event in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai made possible by the essential contribution of the Real Club Valderrama, is sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Consejería de Turismo, Regeneración, Justicia y Administración Local of the Junta de Andalucía, jointly funded by EU and declared Event of Exceptional Public Interest by the Spanish Government. This tournament is also supported by the Diputación de Cádiz, Dubai Duty Free, Rolex, Exterior Plus, La Reserva Club de Sotogrande, Santander Private Banking and Shell. Callaway, Coca-Cola, Enterprise, Grupo Raga, ISDIN, Korporate Technologies Group, Marca, Maui Jim, el Hospital QuirónSalud Campo de Gibraltar, the Real Federación Andaluza de Golf and Volvo are official suppliers. 5J, Gadira, Grupo Joly and Varma collaborate in the event as well.