SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Mark Foster of England shot a 3-under 69 to take a three-shot lead after the third round of the Spanish Open on Saturday.
Foster had four birdies in difficult, breezy conditions in a round that left him at 12-under 204 in his bid to end a seven-year victory drought on the European Tour.
Carlos del Moral (70) and Alvaro Quiros (67) of Spain and Raphael Jacquelin (71) of France were at 207.
Foster, who has not won a European Tour title since the 2003 Dunhill Championship in South Africa, was surprised how relaxed he felt starting the third round a shot behind Johan Edfors of Sweden.
While many players struggled with the wind, the 34-year-old Foster kept his head with the help of Janet Spring, the caddie he borrowed for the week from the injured Jeev Milkha Singh.
“She is just a brilliant caddie,” said Foster, who has worked with Spring before. “In the tricky conditions I needed help and she is a good person to have working for me this week.”
Edfors and Sebi Garcia of Spain, who like Foster began the third round just one shot off the lead at 9 under, both saw their challenges quickly derailed.
Edfors bogeyed four of his opening six holes. He avoided a complete disaster with birdies at Nos. 12-13 en route to a 76.
Garcia, ranked 1,272nd in the world, had five bogeys in seven holes halfway through his round. After a 75 he joined Edfors in a group of six players at 6 under.
Big-hitting Quiros overpowered a course measuring just 6,134 yards in producing a 67. He started with three birdies in his opening four holes, then at the 514-yard, par-5 fifth, he hit the green with a driver and made a 20-foot putt for an eagle.
Quiros was happy to find himself in contention after suffering a shortage of confidence caused by missing the cut at the Masters for the second straight year.
“I am still not playing that well, but I keep the ball straight and when I did make mistakes I recovered well,” he said.