Sport - Golf - Manuel Elvira
Manuel Elvira Image Credit: Harry Grimshaw, Gulf News

Manuel Elvira leads by two shots with 18 holes remaing at the UAE Challenge at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

The Spaniard carded an impressive seven under par round of 65 on moving day. Three birdies in four of his opening holes to take the solo lead as he started the day two shots behind overnight leader and playing partner Craig Howie.

Eight birdies and just one solo bogey placed Elvira at 14 under par, two shots clear of Germany’s Maximilian Rottluff on 12 under par.

“I hit some good shots throughout my round, except maybe the last few holes,” he said. “Even then, on 18, I didn’t hit the best shot and I was hoping for a two putt, but it went in so that’s one of those bonus shots.

“Today was good. It was an easier day I would say and less windy than the first couple of days. I had to make a few adjustments but I stuck to my game plan.”

Currently ranked 8th in the Challenge Tour's Road to Mallorca Rankings, he’s hoping to go one better tomorrow. The 26-year-old has three top tens already this season which includes a second place finish at The Challenge presented by KGA. Tomorrow he hopes to get his hands on the trophy for a maiden win.

“It would mean a lot. I’ve been close a couple of times this season. I’m trying to knock on the door as much as I can, and I have to break it open.

“The plan is just to stick to what I’ve been doing. Be aggressive when I can be and be conservative when I have to.”

Rottluff set a new course record of 63 and now is within two shots of Manuel. Two back is Spaniard Ivan Cantero Gutierrez in third spot while overnight leader and Al Ain Tour ing Professional Craig Howie, is in fourth on nine under par going into the final day.

Frenchman Ugo Coussaud, Road to Mallorca Number One surged up the leaderborad with a four under par round of 68 to get to eight under par, where he’s joined by South African Jaco Prinsloo, England’s James Allan and Italian Matteo Manassero.