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Norris Finds Form To Be One Off The Pace In Spain

Jason Norris has produced his best score since winning in Fiji last year to be among the early contenders at the Spanish Open (Photo: OneAsia)
Jason Norris is just one shot off the pace at the European Tour’s Spanish Open after posting his best round of golf since winning the Fiji International last August.

The likeable South Australian returned a blemish free 5-under 67 at the Centro Nacional de Golf overnight to be part of a 11-way tie for third on a bunched leaderboard.

Ireland’s Paul Dunne and Scotland’s Marc Warren both signed for 66 on a course which saw 86 players return under par scores.

World Number Four Jon Rahm, the highest  ranked player in the field and main tournament drawcard in his home country, is alongside Norris at 5-under while fellow Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello endured a tough day to be 1-over and needing something special tomorrow to make the cut.

Blistering finishes from both Warren and Dunne saw them separate themselves from the pack, the Irishman making an eagle at the last hole to reach 6-under and join Warren who had birdied five of his last seven holes earlier in the day to set the mark.

"Finished with three birdies in a row so it kind of makes it look a little bit better,” said Warren, who was among the first groups out in the morning.

"Overall, it was really solid tee to green. I putted really well today - pace was really good. “The putts that missed I didn't leave myself much to do and the good putts always looked like they had a chance of going in.

"You know when you're out that early and it's cold and windy, it's always going to be a tough start so it's important to be patient. I'm really delighted with that start."

Teeing off almost six hours behind his co-leader, Dunne faced very different weather conditions and, despite not being completely comfortable on the greens, was pleased with his play.

"I find the greens quite tricky to read out there, especially on the front nine, so it was nice to get a couple of putts go in on the back nine and give myself a climb up the leaderboard,” he said.

"Our front nine was quite windy and that just makes it trickier to putt than anything else. Then on the back nine the wind died a little bit but the rain came in so it was a tale of two halves.

“I'd rather the little bit of rain and calm conditions because it makes the greens a little more puttable for me."

Norris, a popular winner last year at the Fiji International, is the best of the seven Australians in the field with Brett Rumford a shot further back at 4-under and T14.

Jason Scrivener and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox both signed for 2-under 70 to be T41, Andrew Dodt, Marcus Fraser and Adam Bland a shot further back and T63.

Nick Cullen made two late bogeys in his round to be even par and T87 with work to do to make tomorrow’s cut.


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