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On another glorious day at PGA Catalunya Resort, it was Swede Pelle Edberg who shone brightest at Qualifying School Final Stage en route to a seven under par 63 on the easier Tour Course to establish a one shot lead over India’s Anirban Lahiri.

Seven birdies, five of which came on his back nine, were the foundation for Edberg’s star turn in north-eastern Spain, which left him in a strong position atop the leaderboard through 54 holes, with a further three rounds still to play in the 108-hole endurance test.

Ricardo Gonzalez is the most successful player in the field with four European Tour titles, and the Argentinian is handily placed just three shots adrift of Edberg on 11 under par after a 65 on Monday.

Just a shot further behind in a share of fourth are Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg and Mikko Korhonen of Finland, who added to the Scandinavian success story on the third day, alongside Englishman Richard McEvoy on ten under.

As for the leader, he was pleased to continue the form that yielded an eight under par score just one day prior on the Tour Course, to start a 36 hole spell that has seen him recover from a disappointing opening round of 73.

“I didn’t play as well as yesterday, not even close,” said Edberg, who opened his account with a one over par score on the more difficult Stadium Course on Saturday. “I hit a lot of greens in the beginning but I wasn’t that close to the hole so I was only one under through eight. Then I hit a bad drive on the 18th, my ninth, but chipped out with a six iron to pretty much stone dead and that kept me going.

“That was the start of three birdies in a row so I played the back nine pretty solidly. I holed a good putt at the 14th and was able to hole a few more coming down the stretch.

“You always have a number in your head, what you need to shoot, and I’m up there, but I can’t relax at all. It takes the pressure off a little bit because on the Tour Course you need to make some birdies.

“You don’t get that many chances on the other course so if you can make 14 or 15 pars out there every round and maybe one or two birdies, that’s a good day.

“It is easy to get down on yourself after an over par round, but after the first day I wasn’t playing very well, in fact it was quite bad.

“When I got in on one over I was disappointed with myself, but everybody kept telling me that it was a pretty good round on that course, so I was like, ‘maybe I’m not in that bad a position’. Then I was able to shoot a good score on the Tour Course on the second day and all of sudden I’m up there.

“It’s a long week though, and I know what I have to do, but so far so good.”

Sentiments echoed by the man in closest attendance to Edberg, World Number 75 Lahiri, who continued his relatively serene progress in Girona thanks to a four under par 66 on day three.

The Indian golfer has already won twice this season on the Asian Tour and lies second on their Order of Merit as a result so, while it is no surprise that he is in contention for a European Tour card this week, Lahiri himself reiterated that there is no room for complacency with half the contest still to go.

“It has been good so far and I’ve hit it really well,” said the 27 year old from Bangalore. “Today was the best I’ve hit it all week, but probably the worst I have putted in three months. I hit it awesome, but had 34 putts to shoot 66, so that is half my round there. It is something I need to improve over the next two or three days, but the rest of the game feels good, so I’ve just got to keep that up.

“My putting has had nothing to do with the greens, I am just struggling a little bit with what I need to do. I feel like I’m really close to finding the right place to be both mentally and technically, so just a little bit of work on that, and it should be sorted.

“I’m really happy, and I’ve played really good. I’m just trying to find as many greens as I can and take the pressure off myself, and I’ve done that well today. Obviously the next three days will be a sterner test on the Stadium course, and I really look forward to that.

“It is sort of a more functional week, as it is a different approach, because every other week you are trying to win. This week you’re trying to do the same, but winning is not the end in itself. You want to be up there and get yourself a good card, and the way I’m playing I feel like I can win, so I just need to continue what I have been doing.

“There is no space for complacency. I’ve been here in Spain for eight days now, I’ve played plenty of rounds already, and we are only half way there, so you are not really looking at the finish line, you are just trying to hit every shot and play every hole one by one as there are so many.

“It’s 54 holes done, 54 more to go, so if you look at it that way then it is a fresh start tomorrow.”

Bjorn Åkesson of Sweden and England’s Tom Murray also signed for rounds of 63 on the third day, to match the leading Edberg, and haul themselves up into a tie for ninth alongside Norway’s Espen Kofstad (64), the English pair of Matthew Fitzpatrick (67) and Matt Ford (65), as well as Italian teenager Renato Paratore (66).

That gaggle of top golfers is a shot clear of first round leader Christian Gloet (66), as the Dane bounced back from a disappointing second day in Spain. He is joined in a share of 13th place by England’s Chris Lloyd (66), Sebastian Soderberg (67) of Sweden, Ireland’s Simon Thornton (67) and Spaniard Pedro Oriol (68) on eight under par.

With one round to go until the field is cut to the top 70 and ties for the final two tours of the Stadium Course, the current qualifying mark is set to fall at level par, and would currently see the likes of Nick Dougherty, Johan Edfors, Jose Manuel Lara and Ricardo Santos – to name just a few high profile names – miss out.

Golf Scores:

198 P Edberg (Swe) 73 62 63;
199 A Lahiri (Ind) 65 68 66;
201 R Gonzalez (Arg) 68 68 65;
202 R McEvoy (Eng) 73 65 64; M Korhonen (Fin) 72 65 65; R Karlberg (Swe) 67 68 67;
203 T Murray (Eng) 76 64 63; B Åkesson (Swe) 72 68 63; E Kofstad (Nor) 72 67 64; M Ford (Eng) 74 64 65; R Paratore (Ita) 67 70 66; M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 70 66 67;
204 C Lloyd (Eng) 72 66 66; C Gloet (Den) 64 74 66; S Thornton (Irl) 68 69 67; S Soderberg (Swe) 67 70 67; P Oriol (Esp) 70 66 68;
205 D Dixon (Eng) 68 72 65; E Cuartero Blanco (am) (Esp) 74 65 66; P Lawrie (Irl) 71 67 67; S Manley (Wal) 66 72 67; A Dodt (Aus) 66 71 68; S Walker (Eng) 66 71 68;
206 R Gouveia (Por) 74 68 64; J Hansen (Den) 71 71 64; K Phelan (Irl) 69 72 65; K Ferrie (Eng) 66 75 65; N Geyger (Chi) 66 74 66; A Otaegui (Esp) 67 71 68; A Pavan (Ita) 69 67 70;
207 C Del Moral (Esp) 68 74 65; B Evans (Eng) 73 68 66; B Virto (Esp) 77 63 67; S Kim (Kor) 73 67 67; C Bouniol (Fra) 72 68 67; R Kellett (Sco) 70 70 67; C Paisley (Eng) 70 69 68; P Maddy (Eng) 67 72 68; J Lagergren (Swe) 66 72 69; M Delpodio (Ita) 68 68 71; J Parry (Eng) 68 68 71;
208 P Whiteford (Sco) 77 66 65; M Orrin (Eng) 69 73 66; J Scrivener (Aus) 77 64 67; M Soegaard (Den) 67 73 68; A Tadini (Ita) 72 67 69; E De La Riva (Esp) 71 68 69; D Im (USA) 66 73 69; S Fallon (Eng) 72 65 71;
209 T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 67 75 67; S Gros (Fra) 67 75 67; J Knutzon (USA) 66 76 67; P Widegren (Swe) 70 71 68; A Marshall (Eng) 69 71 69;
210 L Jensen (Den) 69 74 67; S Henry (Sco) 70 72 68; M Jonzon (Swe) 69 73 68; B Seuk-Hyun (Kor) 67 75 68; L De Jager (RSA) 73 68 69; E Goya (Arg) 71 68 71; M Both (Aus) 70 69 71; A Saddier (Fra) 66 73 71;
211 S Griffiths (Eng) 76 68 67; M Wiegele (Aut) 74 69 68; A Velasco (Esp) 69 74 68; J Gonnet (Fra) 68 73 70; J Guerrier (Fra) 69 71 71; J Makitalo (Fin) 66 74 71;
212 S Chawrasia (Ind) 71 72 69; V Riu (Fra) 75 66 71; H Shun Yat (Hkg) 67 74 71;
213 G Porteous (Eng) 80 64 69; G Lockerbie (Eng) 76 67 70; J Stalter (Fra) 69 74 70; A Ahokas (Fin) 66 76 71; N Elvira (Esp) 71 70 72;
214 J Lara (Esp) 72 74 68; D Stewart (Sco) 67 76 71; A Björk (Swe) 72 70 72; P Archer (Eng) 68 74 72;
215 B Hafthorsson (Isl) 74 73 68; D Coupland (Eng) 76 70 69; W Homan (USA) 77 68 70; J Fahrbring (Swe) 74 70 71; D Woltman (USA) 72 72 71; B Parker (Eng) 67 77 71; D Markle (Can) 70 72 73;
216 M McGeady (Irl) 71 75 70; J Huldahl (Den) 67 79 70; B Ritthammer (Ger) 76 69 71; A Knappe (Ger) 74 69 73; G Drakeford (Aus) 71 72 73; N Chaudhuri (Eng) 73 68 75;
217 G Cambis (Fra) 69 79 69; J Lucquin (Fra) 75 72 70; R Kakko (Fin) 72 74 71; F Andersson Hed (Swe) 76 69 72; H Joannes (Bel) 75 70 72; L Slattery (Eng) 75 70 72; G Maybin (Nir) 74 71 72; S Wakefield (Eng) 72 72 73; P Hedblom (Swe) 74 69 74; C Shinkwin (Eng) 73 70 74; A Hortal (Esp) 72 71 74;
218 S Dodd (Wal) 79 67 72; C Pigem (Esp) 77 69 72; M Schneider (Ger) 72 74 72; J Hahn (USA) 67 79 72; D Huizing (Ned) 76 69 73; T Tree (Eng) 71 73 74; N Kimsey (Eng) 70 74 74; B Hellgren (Swe) 75 68 75;
219 G Houston (Wal) 70 78 71; J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 78 68 73; L Kennedy (Eng) 79 66 74; W Harrold (Eng) 71 74 74;
220 M Bremner (RSA) 80 70 70; D Løkke (Den) 73 75 72; J Billing (Swe) 71 76 73; R De Sousa (Sui) 71 75 74; J Walters (RSA) 73 70 77; R Coles (Eng) 70 73 77; J Edfors (Swe) 66 77 77;
221 Z Lombard (RSA) 77 74 70; A Bernadet (Fra) 75 75 71; J Glennemo (Swe) 76 70 75; M Rocchi (Fra) 70 76 75; W Booth (Sco) 80 65 76; N Quintarelli (Ita) 79 66 76; N Dougherty (Eng) 68 77 76; J Winther (Den) 73 69 79;
222 D Ulrich (Sui) 76 74 72; K Subregis (Fra) 69 81 72; T Sluiter (Ned) 74 74 74; B Hemstock (Eng) 77 70 75; H Porteous (RSA) 71 75 76; S Heisele (Ger) 78 66 78; R Santos (Por) 72 72 78;
224 J Wahlqvist (Swe) 81 69 74; A Canete (Arg) 71 79 74; M Southgate (Eng) 70 80 74; I Garrido (Esp) 70 77 77; D Papadatos (Aus) 78 67 79; R Davies (Wal) 73 71 80;
225 M Brown (Nzl) 84 70 71; R McGowan (Eng) 68 78 79;
226 O Bekker (RSA) 75 77 74; P Howard (am) (Eng) 70 81 75;
227 O Henningsson (Swe) 80 76 71; T Linard (Fra) 80 70 77; J Elson (Eng) 71 73 83;
229 J Wilson (Aus) 71 79 79;
230 P Price (Wal) 73 78 79;
231 N Floren (Swe) 83 68 80;
232 B Ninyette (Aus) 77 74 81;
999 J Remesy (Fra) 72 WD 0;

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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