Rafa Cabrera Bello leads the way in Spain
Rafa Cabrera Bello leads the way in Spain Image Credit: European Tour Twitter

Spanish duo Rafa Cabrera Bello and Adri Arnaus, who both reside in Dubai, are in pole position ahead of the final round of the European Tour’s Open de Espana with the pair occupying first and second on the leaderboard.

Cabrera Bello has been back to his brilliant best this week at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid as he backed up rounds of 67 and 65 with an sublime bogey-free 64, which is his lowest European Tour round of the season, to take a two-shot lead into the final round.

“Today was one of my favourite days ever out there, in front of my countrymen, playing on a course that I Iove and with beautiful conditions, I felt really good,” said the 37-year-old. “I felt their support — I was getting goosebumps almost every hole hearing them yelling my name, it was very special and I’m very proud that I could put on a show for them.

“I played really good, I drove it well, I hit really good iron shots and I did hole some very nice important putts. I guess that’s what happens when you’re playing good. I’ve won every Spanish amateur title there is and I’m missing this one which would be the pinnacle of Spanish golf. I’m going to have a very good chance at it tomorrow but I’m sure there’ll be more chances in the future too so I’ll just go out there, have fun, feed off the crowd and try to put on a show for them again.”

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Dubai's Adri Arnaus

Arnaus, who won the 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Challenge Tour Grand Final, posted his second 67 of the week to finish the third round in a share of second alongside Frenchman Julien Guerrier with both men seeking European Tour silverware for the first time.

“I have been enjoying this week so much, the crowd has been on my side and today playing with Jon (Rahm), it was pretty loud I have to say,” said Arnaus. “It was cool to perform over here in front of the crowd so very happy. The course is playing a bit trickier, a bit firmer, it wasn’t easy to get to pins but I think we did a pretty good job on the front nine. The putts went a bit long, I was lucky enough to have a good look on nine and ten to take advantage of those, and eleven, but in the end you just try the best you can.

“I like courses that make me think and this is one of those, maybe it is playing a bit more accessible than 2019, but you still have to hit very good shots around here and perform well. But again, playing in front of a home crowd is always a bonus.

“It would be really special and a dream come true. Growing up and playing Spanish events as an amateur, dreaming of being part of the bigger stuff, and here we are so it is going to be a cool moment and I am looking forward to having my chance on that back nine.”