England’s Lee Slattery extended his lead at the European Tour’s Bankia Madrid Masters to two strokes after shooting a 3-under 69 in the third round on Saturday.
Slattery led by one overnight and produced a steady round of three birdies without dropping a shot to finish the day at 14 under for the tournament. He’s two shots ahead of Italian Lorenzo Gagli (69) and Australian Brett Rumford (68).
“I just played really steady,” Slattery said. “I didn’t make too many mistakes. I probably could have holed a few more putts, I left a few out there.”
Defending champion and top-ranked Luke Donald had a frustrating end to his round of 70 with three bogeys in the last five holes. He’s six shots behind the leader.
Donald bogeyed Nos. 16 and 18 -- just as he did Friday -- to stall his move up the leaderboard.
Italian Ryder Cup player Francesco Molinari (71) is tied with Sweden’s Oscar Floren (67) and Argentina’s Oscar Monasterio (67) at 11 under.
Slattery, who needs a good performance in Madrid to boost his chances of retaining his tour card for next season, birdied one hole on the front nine but added two more at the 13th and 15th.
Gagli was far more erratic. The Italian eagled the par-5 No. 4, but his four bogeys were accompanied by five birdies to finish 12 under. Rumford’s round included five birdies and a lone bogey at the par-4 13th.
“It was a good day, I was playing great from tee to green,” Rumford said.