Senior Open Championship: Bernhard Langer will take eight-shot lead into final round
Last Updated: 26/07/14 8:57pm
Bernhard Langer: German shot a third round of 68 to extend his lead to eight shots
Bernhard Langer shot a third round of 68 to ensure he will take a commanding eight-shot lead into the final round of the Senior Open Champonship at Royal Porthcawl.
The German mixed four birdies and just a single bogey on Saturday to remain in complete control of an event he has dominated from the start, ending the day on 14-under-par.
Canada's Rick Gibson is his closest challenger after a 66 with Colin Montgomerie, who was joint-second overnight, now 11 back after a one-over 72.
Montgomerie had been hoping to exert some pressure on his former Ryder Cup team-mate but, after a three-under-par front nine of 32, he ran into trouble after the turn, carding a double bogey on the 10th.
Third round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-14 B Langer (Ger)
-6 R Gibson (Can)
-5 B Tway (US)
-4 S Dunlap (US)
-4 T Watson (US)
-4 C Williams
-3 C Montgomerie
-3 B Lane
-3 F Couples (US)
He then followed that with a bogey at the 11th, before dropping another shot on the 17th when his tee shot ran into unraked spikemarks in a bunker forcing him to play out backwards.
That meant a back nine of 40 and a round of 72 for the 2010 Ryder Cup captain, while England's Chris Williams - with whom Montgomerie was tied for second overnight - also lost ground on the runaway leader with a level par 71 to stay on four-under.
Instead, it was Gibson, winner of the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open earlier this month, who moved into second place as he carded a total of seven birdies.
Langer's eight-shot cushion is a new 54-hole record in the tournament and it is difficult to imagine him not converting that into a second title to go alongside his victory at Carnoustie in 2010.
"I am one step closer," the German said. "I still have 18 holes to go. It's nice to have an eight-shot lead but I have still got to keep my head down tomorrow and hit a lot of good golf shots and make some putts and play smart."