European Tour

Ernie Els shares lead in Munich

2013-06-22 21:27
Ernie Els (File)
Munich - Ernie Els kept alive his hopes of victory ahead of his British Open defence despite falling back into a three way share of the lead on day three of the BMW International Open in Munich on Saturday.

The four-time Major winning South African birdied the final hole for a third day running in a three under par 69 on the rain-softened Munchen Eichenried course.

That left Els, who held the outright lead for the first two days, tied at the top at 15-under par with Sweden's Alex Noren (66) and Frenchman Alexander Levy (68) on a day when play was halted for two hours due to rain.

"I missed a couple of putts early on including dropping shots at five, where I hit my putt past the hole, and at seven and I just felt uncomfortable until I made a little adjustment on 11," said Els.

"My balance wasn't quite right and my weight distribution wasn't quite right but after the 11th hole I was fine.

"But being in the lead and now sharing the lead for three rounds is probably a good thing for me ahead of The Open.

"You are going to have situations in Majors and in other tournaments where things don't quite go your way and it's how you come back from that.

"So hopefully I can win tomorrow (Sunday) as it's fun to be in this position as it's been some time as I lost to Bernd Weisberger earlier this year in the Indonesian Masters.

"But while it will be great to win in my last event before Muirfield, it won't be the end of the world if I don't win.

"I just feel that my game has turned around since the BMW PGA last month at Wentworth and I am just building on that.

"So if I win tomorrow than great and if not, I will still have a good three week's holiday."

Noren, 30 went close to a fourth Race to Dubai success this month in the Nordea Masters in Stockholm.

The 22-year old Levy, who was born in California but now lives in Bandol, France, is competing in only his 14th Tour event and a 12th this year in his rookie year.

"I played alongside Ernie today and that was great and tomorrow I am again in the last round with Alex Noren," said Levy.

"So I am getting used to the spotlight and I'm also excited about tomorrow."

England's Matthew Baldwin (69), Denmark's and 2000 BMW International Open winner, Thomas Bjorn (65) are tied for fourth on 14-under par.

Then comes American Peter Uihlein on 13-under par.

A further nine players, including defending champion, Danny Willett (70), former champion Martin Kaymer (69 ) and South African rookie pro, Brandon Stone (67) each at 12-under par plus Spain's Sergio Garcia (65) on 11-under par, are within four shots of the lead.

Leading third round scores of the European Tour's BMW International Open at the Munchen Eichenried Course in Munich on Saturday (par 72, GBR & IRL unless stated):

201 - Alexander Noren (SWE) 64 71 66, Ernie Els (RSA) 63 69 69, Alexander Levy (FRA) 65 68 68

202 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68 69 65, Matthew Baldwin 64 69 69

203 - Peter Uihlein (USA) 70 66 67

204 - Joost Luiten (NED) 69 68 67, Marcel Siem (GER) 67 68 69, Brandon Stone (RSA) 66 71 67, Danny Willett 69 65 70, Martin Kaymer (GER) 64 71 69

205 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 71 69 65, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 66 68 71, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 70 66 69

206 - Robert Jan Derksen (NED) 64 72 70, John Parry 67 72 67, Ross Fisher 68 69 69, Matthew Nixon 65 71 70, Paul Waring 66 73 67

207 - Tjaart van der Walt (RSA) 70 68 69, Tommy Fleetwood 66 69 72, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 68 67 72, Bernd Ritthammer (GER) 68 70 69

208 - Matteo Manassero (ITA) 68 69 71, Peter Lawrie 67 69 72, James Morrison 68 70 70, Oscar Floren (SWE) 68 70 70, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 73 67 68, Peter Fowler (AUS) 67 71 70, David Higgins 67 71 70, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 67 70 71, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 68 69 71

Read more on:    ernie els  |  golf

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