World No. 9 Graeme McDowell and South African Richard Sterne will go into the French Open final round in a tie for the lead after taming the treacherous Le Golf National, the venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup, on Saturday. McDowell, winner of the 2010 US Open, carded a one-under-par 70, while Sterne returned a 71 as the pair ended on five-under 208.
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (68), David Howell of Britain (69) and Australia’s Richard Green (70) shared third place on 209 while Dane Thomas Bjorn (74) was two strokes further back, despite twice finding water off the tee on the back nine.
World Match Play champion McDowell and Joburg Open winner Sterne are both aiming to record their second European Tour victories of the season.
McDowell has had a bizarre sequence of recent results. The Ryder Cup stalwart, who also won the US Tour’s RBC Heritage event in South Carolina in April, has either won or missed the cut in his last seven tournaments.
Also in title contention on 210 are Briton Simon Dyson and Dane Soren Kjeldsen, while Bjorn is one of eight players on 211.