Ernie Els kept alive his hopes of victory ahead of his British Open defense, despite falling back into a three way share of the lead on day three of the BMW International Open in Munich on Saturday.
The four-time Major winning South African birdied the final hole for a third day running in a three-under-par 69 on the rain-softened Munchen Eichenried course.
That left Els, who held the outright lead for the first two days, tied at the top at 15-under par with Sweden’s Alex Noren (66) and Frenchman Alexander Levy (68) on a day when play was halted for two hours due to rain.
“I missed a couple of putts early on, including dropping shots at five, where I hit my putt past the hole, and at seven and I just felt uncomfortable until I made a little adjustment on 11,” Els said. “My balance wasn’t quite right and my weight distribution wasn’t quite right, but after the 11th hole I was fine. But being in the lead and now sharing the lead for three rounds is probably a good thing for me ahead of The Open. You are going to have situations in Majors and in other tournaments where things don’t quite go your way and it’s how you come back from that.”
Noren, 30 went close to a fourth Race to Dubai success this month in the Nordea Masters in Stockholm.
The 22-year old Levy, who was born in California, but now lives in Bandol, France, is competing in only his 14th Tour event and a 12th this year in his rookie year.
“I played alongside Ernie today and that was great and tomorrow I am again in the last round with Alex Noren,” Levy said. “So I am getting used to the spotlight and I’m also excited about tomorrow.”
England’s Matthew Baldwin (69), Denmark’s and 2000 BMW International Open winner, Thomas Bjorn (65) are tied for fourth on 14-under par, followed by American Peter Uihlein on 13-under-par.