Robert Karlsson of Sweden was in pole position at the BMW PGA Championships after overnight leader Paul McGinley’s form dramatically deserted him on the third round on Saturday.
The Swede went into the final day with a four shot lead on Miguel-Angel Jimenez of Spain and England’s Oliver Wilson, both now on seven under par.
In difficult conditions, Karlsson battled his way to 11 under par with a workmanlike 70, while McGinley slumped to a seven over par 79, which included seven bogeys and one double bogey.
“I’m shattered,” McGinley said. “It’s a long way back for me now. Today was a real body blow.”
The Irishman, who began the day at 11 under, made the worst possible start to his third round, with a double bogey six, despite taking a two iron on the first tee in a bid for accuracy. He never recovered, and like many others, he struggled to control the ball as gusting winds swept across the West Course leaving his scorecard peppered with bogeys.
“It’s a cruel game sometimes,” he said. “It takes you so high, then takes you so low. I don’t feel like I played horrendously badly, but I scored dreadfully. I didn’t get any momentum at any stage of the round. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”
Karlsson’s game was also wayward at times, but four birdies and an eagle three on the par five 12th hole compensated for his four bogeys and enabled him to open clear daylight on the rest of the field.
“It was a very tricky day,” he said. “The wind was strong at times, very big gusts. If there was an eight shot swing today, there can be an eight shot swing tomorrow.”
Jyoti Randhawa, of India, lifted himself into contention with a third round 69 that included five birdies.
As the high winds took their toll, Randhawa’s six under par total looked increasingly competitive and the 36 year old from New Delhi would have had high hopes for yesterday’s final round, when more bad weather was expected.