Home favourite Carlota Ciganda shot a third round 70 to open up a three stroke lead ahead of the final round of the €600,000 Andalucia Open de Espana played over the Los Naranjos course in Marbella.
Ciganda got off to a fast start with three consecutive birdies from the second, but immediately gave them back on the next three holes to make the turn at level par.
Birdies on holes 11 and 13 got the leader back on track, but a dropped shot on 15 was followed by a birdie on the home hole to give her a three stroke lead.
“I’m very happy, I think shooting under par today was as good as shooting six-under yesterday. I think it was a very tricky day, very windy and very tough. This course is tricky with the wind so I’m very happy with the way I handled myself and the last three holes,” said Ciganda.
“I thought today if I could get to 10-under, it was a great score. It started great with three birdies in the first four holes but then one bad tee shot and one short putt – anything can happen with this golf course. I tried to keep hitting good shots and keep focused and I think we did a great job.”
Ciganda will play alongside 2021 Race to Costa del Sol Champion Atthaya Thitikul in the final round after the teenage surged up to second with a brilliant third round 67 – the round of the day.
“I’m trying to beat myself every single day because I know I had a pretty good shot every day I just missed a couple of putts but today I gave myself a lot of chances and made more putts than the last two days,” said Thitikul.
“I’ve got used to playing in the wind and hopefully I can learn from it as well because it can destroy your game too, but it’s getting better than it was before.”
Dubai-based Alison Muirhead shot a two over par 74 to lie in 40th place on five over par.