McDowell leads at German Masters

Graeme McDowell maintained his three-shot lead after round three of the German Masters in Cologne on Saturday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Cologne, Germany :

Graeme McDowell maintained his three-shot lead after round three of the German Masters in Cologne on Saturday. European Ryder Cup player Paul Casey had a blistering spell in his round covering the six holes from the tenth to the 15th in seven under par. But he suffered a poor finish, double bogeying the last for the second time in the week after finding the water hazard. It left the Englishman somewhat disheartened but his 67 for a nine under par total of 207 still left him very much in the shake up for the final round in fourth place. Nearest challenger to the leading duo is Frenchman Raphakl Jacquelin who carded a third round 70 for a ten under par total of 206 to give himself an excellent chance of his first European Tour win. It was an excellent late present for himself and his new wife Fanny - the couple got married last weekend. Flawless golf But it's the two Irishman who have dominated the first three days here, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington, who will enter the fourth and final round in the first two places. Harrington, despite a shoulder strain, produced golf on the outward half which would have thrilled his watching Ryder Cup Captain Bernhard Langer, as four birdies and an eagle saw him to the turn in 30. He eased up slightly on the back nine but still did not yield any shots to the Cologne course, his only departures from par coming with birdies at the 15th and 17th from ten and 12 feet respectively. McDowell led at halfway and took a three shot lead into the third round. And maintained that advantage with a 69 for a 14 under par total of 202. But it was the fast finishing Harrington, the first round leader, who assumed the mantle of his closest challenger, the Ryder Cup player charging up the leaderboard with a 64 for 205. Although pleased to still be the man to catch, McDowell admitted he was a little disappointed that his lead was not larger. He had played flawless golf for his first 15 holes before dropping his only shots of the day at the 16th - where he overshot the green - and the 17th - where he found the water.