Bernhard Langer shot a bogey-free six-under-par 65 at Royal Porthcawl yesterday to take a four-stroke lead into the final round of the Senior British Open.
The 59-year-old German star is in position for his fifth victory in the last 10 major championships, sitting on a five under 208 total.
Corey Pavin was second, also shooting 65 in some afternoon rain and wind gusting to 20 mph. Langer has a record nine senior major titles, winning the Regions Tradition and Senior PGA Championship in consecutive weeks in May.
He won by 13 strokes the last time the tournament was held on the south Wales course, finishing at 18 under in 2014, and also won the 2010 event at Carnoustie.
Peter Lonard (67) was third at even par, and Miguel Angel Jimenez (65), Steve Flesch (71) and Billy Mayfair (71) were one over, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie carded a one-under 70 to sit four over par on 217.
Meanwhile, England’s Jordan Smith could not hide his excitement ahead of taking a two-shot lead into the final round of the Porsche European Open.
The 2014 Walker Cup player from Bath shot a third-round 67 in Hamburg to boost his chances of a first European Tour victory.
“I’m over the moon, I played lovely from tee to green and putted really nicely,” Smith said.
“Obviously it’s long and thankfully they’ve put the tees forward because it’s playing soft, so it’s just planning your route around the course and taking advantage of the par fives where you can.
“I’m very excited. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the final group so I’m looking forward to it.”
Smith’s five birdies took him to 12 under par and two clear of defending champion Alex Levy and Swede Jens Fahrbring.
Overnight leader Ashley Chesters led for much of the day, but missed several key putts on the back nine to finish with a one-over 72.
Chesters held a one-shot lead when the weather-affected second round was completed yesterday morning and converted from inside five feet on the first hole of his third round to get to double figures.
The 27-year-old two-time European Amateur champion dropped his first shot of the week at the next when he left a chip from off the green eight feet short.
But he got the shot back at the third and back-to-back gains at the seventh and eighth – the latter after hitting his tee shot to within a foot – briefly sent him three clear.
However, bogeys at the ninth, 16th and 18th checked his progress, and Smith took full advantage.
He took the lead for the first time on the 15th and a superb iron to the final green set up a simple two-putt birdie.
Home favourite Marcel Siem marked his his 400th European Tour appearance with an ace on the 17th.
The German holed his seven-iron to the 170-yard hole and as well as the boost to his scorecard – Siem had a 73 to lie three-under par – the shot also won the 37-year-old a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo worth £141,927, provided by the sponsors.