Larrazabal leads in Cologne

Pablo Larrazabal will enjoy a three-shot lead heading into into the final round of the BMW International Open in Cologne.

The Spaniard, who has thus far not carded a single bogey at the Gut Larchenhof course, followed-up his blemish-free rounds of 69 and 63 with a five-under-par 67 on Saturday to move to 17 under for the tournament.

Larrazabal’s moved further clear when his closest rival, Emiliano Grillo, double-bogeyed the par-four 18th .

Grillo, one of four joint overnight leaders alongside Larrazabal, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Danny Willett, was just one shot behind Larrazabal going up the last but his slip saw him drop back to 14-under.

That left Grillo in a group of eight players in joint second spot.

Among them is Richard Green, who produced the lowest round of the week (62) which included eight birdies and an eagle in his 10-under-par round of 62.

Alongside Green and Grillo on 14 under are world number two Henrik Stenson (66) and his fellow Swede Robert Karlsson (68), Spanish duo Carlos del Moral (66) and Cabrera-Bello (70), Dane Thomas Bjorn (66) and Italian Ryder Cup player Francesco Molinari (65).

Larrazabal noted that he is very pleased with the golf he is playing at the moment, adding that he doubts that he can do any better.

“I made some birdies coming in, and to, you know ‑ I can play better golf. But I cannot ‑ playing like I played, I cannot score better,” he told the EuropeanTour’s website.

Having started his round in wet conditions, he added: “You know, it was spinning back three, four metres with a seven, eight iron.

“These days where it was releasing but yeah, three, four, five metres with the same irons, and now they are spinning back.

“So yeah, it was tough at the beginning to know how to plan those shots, but yeah, I saw it out.”

Australian veteran Green, who played the round of the day, also spoke about the impact of the rain.

“Compared to Thursday afternoon when I played, it’s a totally different golf course really,” he reflected.

“The course was firm on Thursday afternoon, bouncy, and now all of a sudden it’s target practice now. So you can pretty much fly it at any pin and stop it right there.”

Meanwhile the European Tour have announced that the final round will be played in three-balls with the tee times brought forward as another thunderstorm is forecast to hit late on Sunday afternoon.