Shanghai - American-born Frenchman Alexander Levy continued his brilliant form
when he carded nine-under-par 63 and surged to a four-stroke lead after
the third round at the BMW Masters on Saturday.
Levy, the son of
two pharmacists, conjured up a special formula of his own to rattle off
nine birdies for a 22-under 194 total with one round left on the
rain-softened Lake Malaren course.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson (62),
boosted by a late eagle, vaulted into second place on 18-under, with
German Marcel Siem (65) another stroke behind in third place.
Halfway leader Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium shot 73 to plunge nine strokes off the pace.
24, seeking his third victory of the season on the European Tour,
improved to 40-under in his past five rounds of stroke play (including
two at the Portugal Masters which he won), an impressive achievement
notwithstanding the ideal scoring conditions at both events.
"I played an amazing round," the world number 74, who was not even ranked in the top 300 at this time last year, told reporters.
was not surprised but it was fun. It's true I am confident and I need
to enjoy this moment and do my best tomorrow and try to do the same
Levy said he enjoyed 'target golf' - the type played on
soft courses where players can aggressively fire at pins in the
knowledge the ball will stop quickly.
"When the greens are a bit
more firm, it's not my best," said the man whose boyhood golf idol was
Tiger Woods but these days most admires current world number one Rory
Donaldson, barely a month removed from clinching victory
for Europe at the Ryder Cup, enjoyed another magic moment when he holed a
nine-iron from 142-yards at the par-four 16th to jump into second
"It pitched just past the hole and spun back and went in," said Donaldson.
Levy started the day one stroke behind Colsaerts, but quickly took the lead with a hat-trick of birdies from the first hole.
pars that followed proved merely to be a brief interlude between the
birdie feast in languid conditions on an overcast autumn day.
the par-three sixth, he was not distracted by the construction cranes
moving in the line of his putt, calmly rolling in a curling 40-footer
that prompted him to raise his arms in celebration and turn towards his
caddie as the gallery let out a collective roar of approval.
"When you hole a putt like that you are a little bit surprised, but it was a good putt," he said.
better followed at the par-four 10th, where he nearly holed a wedge,
setting up the first of four back-nine birdies that kept him clear of
the chasing pack.
Leading scores on Saturday after the third round of the European Tour's $7 million BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai (par 72):
194 - Alexander Levy (FRA) 65-66-63
198 - Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 68-68-62
199 - Marcel Siem (GER) 68-66-65
201 - Justin Rose (ENG) 72-65-64
203 - Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 66-68-69, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 66-64-73
204 - Graeme McDowell (NIR) 67-69-68, Romain Wattel (FRA) 66-67-71
205 - Joost Luiten (NED) 72-69-62, Robert Karlsson (SWE) 69-70-66, George Coetzee (RSA) 71-67-67, Ryan Palmer (USA) 70-67-68, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 70-66-69, Ross Fisher (ENG) 70-67-68, Branden Grace (RSA) 68-66-71
206 - Richie Ramsay (SCO) 69-68-69, Ernie Els (RSA) 69-68-69, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 69-68-69, Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68-67-71.
208 - Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 70-70-68
210 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 71-70-69
213 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 74-69-70