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Norman takes lead in Spanish Open

April 26, 1997

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Australian Greg Norman shot a 4-under-par 68 Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Spanish Open after the third round.

Tied for second place were Englishmen David Howell, Peter Mitchell and Mark James, and Rolf Muntz of the Netherlands.

James led by two strokes going into the round, but fell back with a 73.

Howell had a 67 on Saturday while Mitchell had a 69 and Muntz a 70.

``The greens are very difficult to read,″ said Norman, who will go into the final round at the La Moraleja course with a 207 total. He said he was surprised his 9-under-par score was good enough for the 54-hole lead.

``I thought it would have taken 12 or 13-under-par″

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain and three-time Spanish Open winner Seve Ballesteros had a 73 for the second day in a row.

``I did not play as well as yesterday and the day before,″ said Ballesteros, who survived the cut for the first time in seven tournaments this season.

Ballesteros on Friday fired his English caddy, Martin Gray, saying each was unhappy with the other’s performance. On Saturday, Ballesteros’ nephew caddied for him.

Bracketed at 209 were Eduardo Romero of Argentina, England’s Gary Emerson, David Carter and Ian Garbutt, Jean Louis Guepy of France and Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.

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