Lawrie leads into final straight

European Tour

Paul Lawrie holds a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Paul Lawrie holds a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

The Scot shot a third round 67 to keep Romain Wattel, who stormed into contention with a 63, at bay.

Lawrie carded seven birdies on the day and did well to bounce back from two bogeys, producing a birdie on the hole that followed on both occasions.

“The support has been good all week to be fair,” commented the man from Aberdeen. “It’s nice to see them all.

“And both Monty and Stephen Gallacher had a good score today, so they have seen some good golf by the Scottish boys.”

Wattel enjoyed a dream front nine, taking the turn in 30 after producing six birdies.

The Frenchman is yet to secure a top three finish on the European Tour but has certainly given himself every chance of doing so on Sunday.

“It was really nice,” he said. “I really enjoy every time you score low.

“I especially enjoyed today, because it’s a tough course, so for the third round, I needed a really good score to be back in the game and that’s what I did. I’m really, really happy.

“I didn’t focus on the score – I just tried to play my best and to focus on each shot.”

Stephen Gallacher is three shots off the pace after four birdies in the final five holes saw him rise up the leaderboard.

Gary Boyd moved to eight-under alongside Maarten Lafeber and Brett Rumford while veterans Colin Montgomerie and Thomas Bjorn headed a group of six a further shot adrift.

Nicolas Colsaerts, who requires a top-two finish to secure automatic qualification, stumbled with a third round 71 as the Belgian was unable to cut the bogeys out of his game, tarnishing five birdies with four drops.

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