The Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid witnessed an action-packed Moving Day in Madrid as multiple played vied for the lead. Frenchman Matthieu Pavon held firm, posting an impressive third-round 66 to finish atop the leaderboard and head into the final day with a two-stroke lead.
“I fought a lot today against my emotions, I like the place, I like the tournament and I know I did great last year, so a lot coming into my head today but it is all about managing things and this is what I did today and I think I did it pretty well,” said Pavon.
In his 184th start on the DP World Tour, Pavon is in pursuit of his maiden victory. His connection to this tournament, stemming from a solo second-place finish last year, and a childhood spent in Madrid provides him with an added layer of determination.
“What I learned is that it is tough to beat Jon Rahm. Last year he got me by six shots and I thought I had a great week, he is the kind of player that is on another planet. This week I just try to be myself, I think I have some family from Spain, my grandfather was from Madrid also, so everything is kind of matching up, and I am just happy to be here. I like the course and I am doing great, so I am just enjoying every moment,” Pavon added.
England’s Nathan Kimsey leaped into solo second place after a brilliant bogey-free round that included four consecutive birdies on the back nine, concluding the day at six-under. Kimsey, now just two shots behind the leader, is making his tournament debut, having secured his DP World Tour card for the second time after claiming victory in the Challenge Tour rankings last year.
“When you are playing in one of the final groups on the weekend it makes you a little bit nervous, kind of anxious before getting going to start with, but I played really nice to be fair,” Kimsey said. “I made a great save on 11 out of the bunker to be fair and that helped keep momentum going. I hit it close on 12 and holed a massive putt on 13 out of nowhere, I had hit it in the trees and hacked it to the front of the green, and then holed that 50–60-footer, so just kind of took off a little bit”, Kimsey said as he spoke about some of his key third-round shots.
The competition remains tight, with ten players lurking within five strokes of the lead. Tied for third place at -12 are Spain’s Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera, DP World Tour winner Romain Langasque and South Africa’s Zander Lombard. Langasque carded eight birdies in his third round, a feat shared with Danielle Hillier, who commenced his third round with a impressive string of five birdies. Lombard, who began his day at T18, carded a bogey free round which saw six birdies in his third round, while Alfredo recorded seven birdies and Lorenzo-Vera notched five birdies and an eagle, securing a tie for fourth.
“I just turned to my caddie after the six on number seven that we need to be more offensive, I think I was a bit too defensive,” said Langasque speaking on the course’s par fives. “This season I’ve been so strong there been so many times in the top 20 in general. So looking forward to tomorrow, you know, one good round away to maybe winning my second tournament so I felt that I can do it, but I know that it’s gonna be very tough. So I think I’m just gonna be trying to be patient trying to just be Romaine and just to enjoy the moment.”