Scott Jamieson remained at the top of the leaderboard after playing just five holes of his third round at the weather-affected ISPS Handa Championship in Spain, where Canadian Aaron Cockerill holed an eagle putt to close out a stunning 62 and move within one shot of the summit just moments before the final klaxon sounded.
Play was delayed for a total of four hours and 48 minutes on day three at Infinitum as storms passed continually through the Tarragona region, and Jamieson – the leader by two strokes heading into the weekend – only teed off his third round at 5:33pm local time.
The 38-year-old bogeyed the first but picked that shot back up with a birdie at the third, and he reached the sixth green in level par before play was called to a halt one final time at 6:58pm as the thunder began to rattle once again. Jamieson ended the day as he started it, on an 11 under total heading into Sunday.
Cockerill was unperturbed by the delays, however, and the 30-year-old – who came through Qualifying School Final Stage at this venue in 2019 – made the only eagle of the day at the 18th to add to six birdies as he signed for an eight under third round to move to a ten under total.
Home favourite Pablo Larrazábal was one of eight players tied for third place on eight under par – all eight of them yet to finish their third rounds – after the six-time DP World Tour winner had opened with four successive birdies. He dropped a shot at the fifth and managed to make the turn in three under before the evening storms moved in to force the players off the course one final time.
Scott Jamieson: “It was a nice start to the day to see Rangers win alright, but it was a kind of frustrating day then when you’re starting and stopping like that, but what can you do.
“We’re around the sixth green now after being pulled off. On the first I hit a bad wedge shot and then it was a tough up and down. I hit a good putt but it just didn’t go in. It was pretty solid after that.
“We’re only really halfway through the tournament aren’t we, and there’s a little wind forecast tomorrow and I don’t know what it’s going to be like for those 12 or so holes in the morning, so I’ve just got to play the golf that’s in front of me the best that I can and see what it all adds up to.”
Aaron Cockerill: “It was an awesome day, I played really well the whole day. I got into a bit of trouble on 15 and 16 but was able to save par but other than that I made a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, made a lot of putts – awesome day.
“The last is a gettable hole, coming in with the wind so you’ve got a long iron and I was able to stay aggressive and keep it a little left of the hole there. The putt just hung on and it was that kind of day, and it was a nice finish.
“I was just chilling out just trying to stay awake during the delays, I think I almost fell asleep in the locker room and a lot of guys were doing the same thing. We almost started and then had to come in for another hour or so, so we were just hanging out and once we knew we were going, we stretched for a half an hour or so and the usual – just get up and go.
“I like this course. I got through the Qualifying School here in 2019 so I have good memories here. I feel like I played well the first two days, I didn’t get as much out of the score as I could have and things came together today.
“Saturday you’re always trying to post a low one, especially when you’re teeing it up a bit earlier and it’s a job well done today and we’ll just try to keep it going tomorrow.
“I don’t even know what the leading score, I was just trying to post a low one. Same thing tomorrow, boring answer but just trey made a bunch of birdies tomorrow, try take advantage of the easy holes and see what happens.”
Pablo Larrazábal: “Before the first suspension I made a good birdie at the first and then I turned on the motorcycle, four birdies in a row, then it quietened down a bit with three silly putts on the fifth but I continued to play well.
“Three under on the front nine is good and now I now have meters for birdie on the tenth. It will be a long day tomorrow and let’s see if we can finish the third round in good shape to get close and be ready for a long day, but a day that can be beautiful.”