Levy, Noren join Els in 3-way lead in Munich
MUNICH (AP) — Frenchman Alexander Levy overcame two bogeys to card a 4-under 68 for a three-way share of the lead going into the last round of the BMW International Open on Saturday.
Levy joined Sweden’s Alex Noren in catching overnight leader Ernie Els to be at 15-under 201 overall.
Els, who had a one-stroke lead and shot a second consecutive 69, remains confident he can claim the title on Sunday.
“Yes I am,” said the two-time winner of the British Open and U.S. Open. “I’m swinging nicely and I’ve had my back against the wall, so to speak, the last two rounds where I’ve had to come back and try to salvage something. I did it again today.”
Levy, whose best finish to date is 10th, did well to emerge with only a bogey on the 15th, when he had to hack the ball out from under a tree.
“I’m very happy. It was great for me to play with a fantastic player,” said Levy of partnering Els for the day. “It’s nice to play with him, very happy. It was unbelievable,”
Noren managed five birdies and an eagle to offset a bogey.
“I hit a lot of good shots and a few bad ones, but you always do,” said the Swede.
One stroke behind the leaders are England’s Matthew Baldwin and Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, who put himself in contention by holing nine birdies in a round of 65 to move up 14 places.
“I needed to shoot a round to give myself a chance tomorrow, and I’ve done that,” said Bjorn, the 2000 and 2002 winner. “The first two days it’s been decent but not great. I stepped it up today and that gives you a little bit of confidence tomorrow.”
American Peter Uihlein is a stroke further back in sixth after shooting 67.
“I’m just happy to keep putting myself in a good position going into the final round. That’s what it’s all about,” Uihlein said.
Home favorites Marcel Siem and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer both shot 69 and are three shots off the pace, as are Joost Luiten of the Netherlands and Brandon Stone of South Africa. Both shot 67.
“It’s a special week. I played really good golf the whole week so far and yesterday I managed to grind out a good round, but today I really played great golf again,” said Stone, who is playing his debut season as a professional.
Defending champion Danny Willet of England is also three strokes off the pace, with one eagle to show from his round.
Sergio Garcia holed seven birdies and avoided any bogeys for a 65. The Spaniard is one of three players four strokes behind the lead.
Play was delayed by one hour at the start and again later by another hour and 20 minutes due to heavy rain.
Els had two bogeys in the opening seven holes, but finished strongly after making an adjustment at the 11th. He came agonizingly close to the eagle on the 18th, which would have given him the outright lead, but was content with the birdie for a share.
“Hopefully tomorrow things are a little bit better,” Els said. “It’s going to be tough going in. Everybody’s going to be quite tense.”