Oct 10th, 2021
Cabrera Bello out front in Madrid
Local hero leads by two at Open de España
Photography: Getty Images
The home favourite finished second at the last staging of this event in 2019 but revealed he had felt "lost" at times in the following two years as he slipped outside the top 200 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
But he struck a positive tone on his arrival at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid and has certainly had plenty to smile about over the first three days, moving to 17 under and putting himself in pole position to claim a fourth European Tour title at his home open.
"Today was one of my favourite days ever out there, in front of my countrymen, playing on a course that I Iove and with beautiful conditions, I felt really good," said the Spaniard.
"I felt their support - I was getting goosebumps almost every hole hearing them yelling my name, it was very special and I'm very proud that I could put on a show for them."
Cabrera Bello has a Rolex Series victory and a Ryder Cup appearance on his CV but, having won this event at every age level from under-seven to under-18 as an amateur, a victory in the professional event would rank very highly in his list of career highlights.
Fellow Spaniard Adri Arnaus and Frenchman Julien Guerrier were his nearest challengers after rounds 67 and 66 respectively, a shot clear of England's Jack Senior.
Overnight leader Wil Besseling, England's Richard Bland, Frenchman Alexander Levy and India's Shubhankar Sharma are five shots off the lead.
Home favourite and World Number One Jon Rahm is at eleven-under after a 72 alongside Dane Lucas Bjerregaard, Scottish trio David Drysdale, Grant Forrest and Marc Warren, and English pair Matthew Jordan and Ross McGowan.