MUNICH (AP) — Welshman Bradley Dredge extended his lead in the BMW International Open to three strokes Saturday, shooting a 5-under 67 in the third round.
Dredge started the day with a one-stroke lead and quickly built on it, birdieing three of the first five holes en route to finishing the day at 18 under.
Ross Fisher of England had an eagle and five birdies in a 66 that tied him for second with Simon Thornton of Ireland, who shot a 67.
Dredge is chasing his third European Tour title and his first since the 2006 Omega Masters in Switzerland. He knows he will have to shoot low again with the greens at the Golfclub Munchen Eichenreid softened by weeks of heavy rain.
“That start was just what I needed. I chipped in from the back of the first green which helped, put the ball stone dead at the third and then holed a 15-footer on the fifth,” Dredge said. “But the way this course has been playing there are always going to be guys shooting low. … In the fourth round I will attack all the pins when I can with my wedges and short irons.”
Fisher’s form since he won the 2009 Volvo World Matchplay in Spain has been disappointing with missed cuts at both the Masters and U.S. Open.
“I would say it was probably as good as I have hit the ball for a long time,” Fisher said of his round. “It reminded me of when I breezed my way around Wentworth in 64 shots last year. I know that, if I can sink a few more putts, there could be a ridiculously low round in me.”
Thornton claimed the 29th card at European Tour School last year and has never played in the final group going into the fourth round of a main tour event before.
“There has to be a first time for everything,” the 33-year-old said. “I heard someone say that four 67s should be good enough to win round here. Well, I have got three of them now, let’s hope I can shoot the fourth.”
Paul Lawrie of Scotland reached 14-under and fourth place after a 68.
Three players are a shot further back in fifth place – David Horsey of England, Peter Whiteford of Scotland and Ignacio Garrido of Spain.