European Amateur: Jose Luis Ballester of Spain takes a two shot lead into final round
Jose Luis Ballester ponders a tricky putt in Estonia (European Golf Association photo)
Jose Luis Ballester ponders a tricky putt in Estonia (European Golf Association photo)

Jose Luis Ballester of Spain has opened a two-shot lead with just 18 holes to play in the 2023 European Amateur Championship in Estonia.

Playing in the final group after rounds of 62 (-10) and 66 (-6), the Spaniard continued his excellent form from the get-go in the third round of the 72-hole event that is back on track after being plagued by weather delays.

With a birdie on the first and a lip-out for eagle on the par-5 third, Ballester opened a gap to his playing partners, Tiger Christensen of Germany and James Ashfield of Wales.

The Arizona State Sun Devil would only relinquish the lead for a few minutes to college teammate Michael Mjaaseth after the Norwegian opened his round with five birdies in the space of seven holes.

A one-under-par back-nine wasn't enough for Mjaaseth to keep up with Ballester, who went two better on the inward nine thanks to birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.

It should be a fun final day, as the two teammates will be paired together in the final group.

Netherland's Jack Ingham was the only other player to reach the 20-under mark in Round three. The Dutch player signed for the day's lowest round from the top 10, a 7-under 65, to tie Mjaaseth.

12 players remain within just five shots of the lead. Daniel Rodrigues (POR), Tiger Christensen (GER), and Mads Laage (DEN) are the closest of the chasing pack. The three players will start the final round together, four shots behind Ballester.

Results: European Amateur
1SpainJose Luis BallesterSpain120062-66-66-73=267
T2DenmarkMads LaageDenmark90065-67-66-71=269
T2WalesJames AshfieldWales90064-64-71-70=269
T4EnglandJack BighamEngland70065-66-68-71=270
T4IrelandHugh FoleyIreland70067-63-70-70=270

View full results for European Amateur

ABOUT THE European Amateur

The premier championship in Europe, conducted by the European Golf Association, which is comprised of 38 member countries. 72 hole stroke play format. After 54 holes the field is cut to the leading 60 players and ties. The winner earns a spot in the British Open.

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