Nixon takes lead in Spain

European Tour

England’s Matthew Nixon will enjoy a one-shot lead on the final day of the inaugural NH Collection Open.

Nixon carded 65 at La Reserva de Sotogrande in Spain which included nine birdies and two bogeys to edge ahead of Italian Marco Crespi.

“I really enjoyed it, the sun’s been shining and I played really nicely,” said Nixon.

“I don’t remember much about it apart from the fact that I kept knocking them close and knocking the putts in. If I could do that again tomorrow it would come in handy.

“Today the conditions were obviously a little better, but it was just one of those days. I had a nice start and it just kept going.”

Crespi returned 10 birdies in the third round, but his good work was undone by four bogeys.

Chile’s Felipe Aguilar was a shot further back on six under after a third round of 70, with Portugal’s Ricardo Santos on five under thanks to a flawless 67.

Santos, who was rookie of the year in 2012 after becoming the first Portuguese player to win on home soil in the Madeira Islands Open, said: “I played really solid today, amazingly I didn’t miss a shot.

“I was very consistent off the tee, which is very important on this course and really solid into the greens. The course is tough because we start with three very strong par fours and if you don’t start really well you are struggling.

“That’s probably the reason that we don’t have really low scores under the better conditions.”

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