• Senior Open Championship, Round Three

Langer retains lead at Royal Birkdale

ESPN staff
July 27, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Bernhard Langer praised his perfect ball-striking after his third round © PA Photos
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Bernhard Langer seized a three shot lead after the third round of the Senior Open Championship on Saturday, mastering Royal Birkdale with superb links play for a four-under 66.

2010 champion Langer shared the overnight lead with Mark Wiebe but birdied three of his first seven holes to jump in front on his own. David Frost shot his third straight 68 to sit alone in second place, while Wiebe only managed a 70 to drop into third, four shots back.

Langer's only bogey came on the 14th, but he finished with two birdies on 15 and 17 to stay in control.

"That was as good as I can play," Langer said. "My ball-striking was almost perfect and I played really well, apart from the mistake at the 14th."

His lone bogey came when he hit his tee shot to the back of the green, sent his approach putt long and left and missed the return.

Langer got it back immediately with a birdie at the long 15th, before adding another at 17 and just missing a birdie chance from 15-feet at the last .

South African Frost made three birdies in a row from the seventh but then made three bogeys on the 10th, 14th and the 18th, with two other birdies in between.

Three players are in joint fourth place, six shots back - home favourite Sandy Lyle, Australian Peter Fowler and first-round leader Gene Sauers.

Scotland's Colin Montgomerie also had a 69 but is tied for 13th at two-over. Miguel Angel Martin enjoyed the day's best round of 65 but is also on two-over.

Defending champion Fred Couples had a 68, his best round of the week, but is out of contention at four-over.

Mark McNulty shared fourth place overnight but quickly fell back when he dropped a stroke at each of the first four holes and another two at seven and eight. He finished with a 76.

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