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Els joined by Noren and Levy

ESPN staff
June 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Ernie Els was not at his best on day three, but remains in the lead © Getty Images
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BMW International Open leaderboard

Ernie Els remains on course for a wire-to-wire victory at the BMW International Open after a second successive three-under 69 kept the South African top of the leaderboard at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried.

But for the first time this week, Els ends a round at the top with company, as Alex Noren and Alexander Levy join him at the summit after rounds of 66 and 68 respectively see the trio lead at 15-under par.

It did not look like it was going to be Els' day when he reached the turn level par after a couple of clumsy bogeys had cancelled out his birdies, but he rallied late on and picked up shots at 14, 16 and the par-five 18th - where his lengthy eagle putt pulled up just centimetres short.

Swede Noren, meanwhile, raced out of the blocks with five birdies between three and 11, before a bogey at 15. But that was forgotten about at the very next hole when his approach to the par-four 16th dropped for an eagle two.

Noren will feel aggrieved that he is not heading into the final round in the lead though, after missing a relatively basic birdie putt from five feet at the last.

Frenchman Levy, who continues to be the surprise package of this tournament as he goes in search of his first European Tour title in just his third season as a professional, recorded six birdies and two bogeys en route to a 68 to add to his opening rounds of 65 and 68.

England's Matt Baldwin (69), also hunting his maiden victory, remains in touch at 14-under par, where he is joined by Thomas Bjorn, who carded the joint round of the day with a 65.

American Peter Uihlein (67) is a shot back at 13-under, while Brandon Stone (67), Joost Luiten (67) and defending champion Danny Willett (70) are at 12-under, along with German pair Marcel Siem (69) and Martin Kaymer (69) - who is suffering from a stomach virus.

Sergio Garcia, who needed a late birdie on Friday to scrape inside the cut line, also shot 65 to reach 11-under par and well within touching distance of the lead going into the final round.

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