Pieters plays to strengths, leads Spanish Open by 2

Thomas Pieters' round of 71 was enough to give him a two-stroke lead heading into the final round.

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GIRONA, Spain — Thomas Pieters of Belgium shot a 1-under 71 to extend his Spanish Open lead to two shots over the chasing Miguel Angel Jimenez on Saturday.

Pieters had a pair of bogeys through five holes before taking advantage of the par-5s on the back nine to get to 7-under 209. That was good enough to fend off Jimenez, as the Spaniard charged up the leaderboard with a 69 for a 5-under total of 211.

Pieters says, "I hit solid shots and really played to my strengths. I’ve always done well on really tough courses — I like grinding it out."

Jimenez’s poor putting saw him bogey two of the last four holes as he chases his first ever win at his national tournament.

Three players trailed Pieters by three shots in third.