England’s James Morrison and Mark Foster led the French Open after Saturday’s third round, while world No. 4 Martin Kaymer moved to within striking distance after a four-under-par 67.
Second-round leader Morrison looked set to lead again going into the finale, but he shed three shots in the final two holes for a 72, allowing Foster to close the gap on him as they both finished at nine-under 204
Foster’s third successive 68 had set the clubhouse target on nine-under and the 35-year-old landed him a spot in the final group on the final day for the second week running.
In Munich last week at the BMW International, the Englishman led by two, but finished tied for third behind Spaniards Pablo Larrazabal and Sergio Garcia.
A further shot back on 295 in third place was Scotland’s former US Amateur champion, Richie Ramsay. He was left bemoaning two dropped shots in the final two holes as he came in with a 69.
Kaymer and French veteran Thomas Levet were tied for fourth place, three behind, after both shot 67.
The German, who won this tournament two years ago, had an eagle on the 14th to give himself a good chance of finishing in the top eight, which would see him reclaim the world No. 3 spot he lost last week to US Open winner Rory McIlroy.
Crowd favorite Levet made the biggest move of the day, although he joined the list of players who fell victim to the tough par-four closing hole.
The former Ryder Cup player and 2002 Open runner-up was six-under for the day, but then pulled his drive into the water and ran up a double bogey six.
“I felt like I was in the Ryder Cup — it was so noisy,” said the 42-year-old, who has been mentioned as a possible captain of Europe when the venue here outside Versailles hosts the 2018 match. “Days like today keep me competing. You make putts, you make people happy.”
Colin Montgomerie managed only a 74 to fall back to two-over and now needs a miracle to claim the top-five finish he needs to earn the spot on offer in next month’s British Open at Royal St George’s. He is in 36th place.
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