The third day of the ACCIONA Open de España presented by Madrid promises to have a little of everything. The lion’s share of the spotlight will be on Jon Rahm and his attempt to fight back. But there is plenty more to feast the eyes on.
75 players made the cut at -2, so the DP World Tour has decided on matches of three, meaning we will have 25 tee times on the first tee, starting at 0835 and ending at 13:05.
The Spanish contingent will have two representatives in the lead matches on day three. Álex del Rey and Alfredo García Heredia will be bidding for a repeat of their impressive performances on Friday.
The former tees off at 12:43 with Fabrizio Zanotti, the Paraguayan player who shared the first two days with Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño, and will again join Antoine Rozner after their head-to-head over the first 36 holes. Spanish will be the language of the day in their match, which will surely make Del Rey feel at home, particularly given the size of the crowd that will follow them.
The match immediately behind them will be that of Alfredo García Heredia, who on day one played with Englishman Nathan Kimsey and the French (almost Spanish) Mike Lorenzo-Vera, who is a close friend of many of the Spanish players. They will set off at 12:54 from the first before the leaders tee it up.
The match that will close at day three at this ACCIONA Open de España will be that formed by the two -10s; Dutchman Will Besseling and India’s Shubhankar Sharma, and the leader on -11, Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, who has done a good job of keeping his foot on the gas after a 63 in round one.
Further afield, Jon Rahm will play with his compatriot Rafa Cabrera-Bello for the third day on the trot. At 09:35, the Basque player and the Canary Islander will begin their attempt to climb up the leaderboard. They are both on three under par and eight shots adrift of the leader. Rahm has said that he is playing badly and he still managed to go three under, so do not write off a comeback if his game starts to fire.
Cabrera Bello was flirting with the cut on Friday and had to draw on all of his experience to earn a place on the weekend. It is the third cut he has made in the last ten tournaments, so he will be up for the fight. The two Spaniards will be joined by South African player Louis de Jager. Playing alongside Rahm may come as something of a shock to him. He is currently number 314 in the world and has not enjoyed a top 10 finish on the European circuit since the Joburg Open 10 months ago, when he finished fifth.
Justin Rose will also have a repeat partner tomorrow. Victor Perez will tee it up alongside the Englishman, just as he did on Thursday and Friday. Rose enjoyed more luck on Friday than he had in round one. A four-under par 67, with the putter warming up means he still cannot be written off for Sunday. Their group is completed by Sami Valimaki. The Finn is in fine form, as proven by his sixth-place finish last week at the Dunhill Links. The threesome will tee off at 10:59, they are sure to provide plenty of entertainment.