CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland (AP) – Richie Ramsay of Scotland thrived in the cold and wet Swiss Alps on Saturday, shooting a 7-under 64 for a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the European Masters.
Ramsay had six birdies and didn't drop a shot. He finished at 11 under, one shot ahead of fellow Scot Paul Lawrie (67) and Danny Willett (68) of England.
“It was a nice and steady round,'' said the 29-year-old Ramsay, who was at the first tee when fog suspended play in the morning. “It sounds simple, it's harder to do.''
Overnight leader Julien Quesne of France was another shot back after a 70. Heavy rain forced organizers to reduce the soaked par-4 sixth hole to a par 3. Fog rolled in near midday and delayed play for nearly 2 hours as the leading groups prepared to start their rounds.
Lawrie, seeking his second straight title after victory last week at Gleneagles, led until hitting out of bounds off the tee at the par-5 14th. The European Ryder Cup player made a double-bogey 7, saying he was “a bit frustrated'' with his 67.
“I played lovely again today and could easily have been four or five shots better,'' Lawrie said. “But one behind now, I would have taken that at the start of the week.''
Ramsay, who placed sixth behind his fellow Aberdeen native at Gleneagles, has never led a European Tour event after three rounds. Ramsay's only victory came at the 2010 South African Open.
Joost Luiten of the Netherlands trails by four strokes after shooting the lowest score of the day, a 63 that included three eagles. David Lynn of England, the runner-up behind Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championship last month, moved to 6 under with a 65.
Alexander Noren, the 2009 winner, had perhaps the strangest round of an interrupted day. The Swede started early and went out in 30, but after the fog delay came home in 39 to fall to 1 under.
On Sunday, 21 players will tee off within five shots of the lead on a course that plays short in the thin mountain air.