Englishman Lee Slattery and Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello both carded seven-under 63s to share a one-shot lead at the KLM Open following a spectacular third round on Saturday.
Cabrera-Bello chipped in from 50ft for an eagle at the seventh during a front nine of 29 that also included six birdies against just one bogey, while Slattery kept pace with an eagle of his own and six birdies to share the overnight lead.
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, The Open champion in 1999, climbed the leaderboard with a 63 of his own to lie alone in third spot just one shot back on a day when birdies were in abundance at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club.
The record for holes-in-one for an European Tour season fell when Sweden’s Magnus Carlsson aced the short par-three eighth, before Australian Wade Ormsby found the hole from the tee on the 11th hole to make it 41 in a season for Europe’s finest and better the previous 2006 mark by two.
“I sunk a very long putt on the first hole and after that all the other birdies were pretty much tap-ins,” said 31-year-old Cabrera-Bello, who saw another eagle attempt bounce off the pin at the fifth and nestle next to the hole for a tap-in birdie.
“Even the bogey I had was a three-putt from five feet, so it could’ve been better, but I’m really pleased that everything went my way,” said the Spaniard, who is chasing a third European Tour win and first since the 2012 Dubai Classic.
“It was a bonus to hole my third shot for an eagle on the seventh,” he said.
Slattery, who won the Russian Open the previous weekend, opened with three birdies over the first four holes before holing a 10ft putt at the 12th for an eagle as part of his 63.
“It’s like a dream come true at the minute. I went into last week with a lot of pressure on and won, and then I’ve come here with no pressure whatsoever and just been trying to play good golf,” the 37-year-old said. “It’s a fabulous feeling and I feel a lot more relaxed this week than I was last week.”
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters was just two shots adrift and alone in fourth after the day’s joint-lowest score of 62, while Finland’s Mikko Ilonen matched him and shared fifth place with Ormsby and Denmark’s Morten Orum Madsen.
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