VALENCIA, Spain -- Marc Warren of Scotland shot a 4-under 68 Saturday to take a two-shot lead after the third round of the Spanish Open on the European Tour.
Warren had six birdies to go with two bogeys on the Parador de El Saler course to move to the top of the leaderboard with an 8-under 208.
Craig Lee of Scotland is two strokes back after a 70, with Englishmen David Horsey (66) and Paul Waring (69) another shot behind.
American Peter Uihlein led entering the day but only managed a 74 to fall four shots back.
Sergio Garcia is seven shots off the lead after a 70.
Warren was the epitome of consistency over the tournament’s first two days, striking back-to-back 70s. He has had little trouble picking up birdies this week, but did a better job of eliminating mistakes as birdies on Nos. 3, 5, 7, 10, 12 and 15 overshadowed bogeys on Nos. 9 and 14.
“I am very pleased with today’s work,” he said. “They were tough conditions on a tough golf course so to shoot 68 is a very pleasing day.
“I like the fact you’ve got to hit so many different shots (in the wind),” he added. “There was always something to the shots today and I felt as if I did well today. Hopefully that continues tomorrow. Concentration is paramount, especially on a course as tough as this one, and it will be tomorrow.”
The hallmark of his play was an excellent short game with several outstanding up-and-downs being complemented by brilliance on the greens.
“To score well, you have to hole out well,” he added.
Lee, meanwhile, would have shared the lead had it not been for a poor finish to an otherwise exemplary round. Having picked up shots at Nos. 4, 5, 14 and 15, the 35-year-old relinquished a space alongside Warren at the summit by giving two back on the 16th and 17th.
"I played well early on and managed to get a couple of birdies, but the end was difficult with the wind and I threw a couple (of shots) away,” Lee said. “It is always frustrating (to end poorly). There were a couple of easy up and downs and I did not quite make the most of them. But I am delighted with the position that I am in; the game is pretty good and pretty steady.”
Horsey’s ascent up the leaderboard came on the back of delivering the day’s best round, a 66 that featured eight birdies. After beginning the day 1 over, he caught fire around the turn, having appeared set for a disappointing day when bogeys on the second and fifth came either side of picking up a shot at the third.
He turned things around in stunning fashion by picking up shots on three successive holes from the sixth. Clearly buoyed, Horsey produced even better on the way in as further birdies came at 10, 13, 14 and 16 to leave him 4 under overall.
It appeared that Uihlein, a former U.S. Amateur champion and the second-round leader, would extend his advantage following a fast start – he began by holing a 20-footer for birdie and adding another on the third after his eagle pitch lipped out. However, some stray shots thereafter created bogeys at Nos. 6, 13, 16 and 17 to undermine a round that began with such promise.