Pieters pounces as Jimenez slips up at Spanish Open

Madrid: Belgium`s Thomas Pieters carved out a two-shot lead after three rounds of the Spanish Open on Saturday after veteran home star Miguel Angel Jimenez suffered a late mini-collapse.

Jimenez had carded six birdies in 13 holes but then bogeys at the 15th and 18th holes gave him a 69 for the day and five-under for the tournament with Pieters knocking in birdies at 15 and 16 for a round of 71 and seven under.

"I`m a little disappointed with that," said 50-year-old Jimenez who is the oldest winner in European Tour history, beating his own record by winning the Hong Kong Open at the age of 49 years and 337 days last December.

But he has yet to win the Spanish Open.

"It would be nice. I`d love to win the Spanish Open of course and we`ll see what happens tomorrow."

Pieters, 22, only turned professional in June last year and secured his European Tour card via the Qualifying School in November.

"It was a solid day. I hit solid shots and really played to my strengths. I got two over par early just because my short game wasn`t sharp enough but I took advantage of the par fives again today and the shots dropped in the end," said the Belgian.

"I stayed really patient, you need to be on this course and I`m getting better and better at it. You know that it`s going to be a hard day and an even par is a good score."

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