VERSAILLES, France (AP) — Defending champion Martin Kaymer shot an even-par 71 to take a one-shot lead after the third round of the French Open on Saturday.
The German finished at 9-under 204, one stroke ahead of Alejandro Canizares of Spain and Steve Webster of England.
Canizares was leading the field by three shots at the 16th tee, but made double bogey after finding water. He did it again at No. 18, landing in the lake beside the green with his second shot to finish with a 73. Webster had a 70.
“It was a little bit tough to see Alejandro making double at 16 and 18,” Kaymer said. “You want to play well to get into the lead, (but) you don’t want to see that.”
The German said he was encouraged by Germany’s 4-0 win over Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinals.
“During the round when I was 1-over and not playing too well, my caddy said to me, ‘Hey Germany is winning 1-0,’ and all of a sudden it was 2-0 and I made a birdie,” Kaymer said. “I didn’t play very well, but I hung in there and the news about Germany kept me smiling.”
Robert-Jan Derksen of Netherlands (72) and Damien McGrane of Ireland (67) were two shots off the lead at 7-under 206 along with Luke Donald (67), Miguel Angel Jimenez (66), Francesco Molinari (68) and Jyoti Randhawa (70).
Victory on Sunday would take Kaymer past $1.8 million in earnings and should guarantee him a debut in Europe’s Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor in October.