Stadler four clear in France

Kevin Stadler will enjoy a four-shot lead heading into the final day of the French Open.

The American carded a 72 at Le Golf National on Saturday as his good run in the tournament continued.

The 34-year-old saw French playing partner Victor Riu pull within one shot with three birdies on the front nine before disaster struck for the 29-year-old local

Six bogeys down the stretch for Riu saw him slip into a tie for second with Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee on five under.

“I’m satisfied to finish these 18 holes, the score was pretty average today but nothing too terrible,” said Stadler.

“I wasn’t striking the ball as good as I have, but I picked up a lot of pars.
“It was difficult today with the wind, there were cross winds which made it tricky.

“I tweaked my back a while back and it hasn’t been great for a couple of months but it wasn’t too too painful, I’ll get some treatment on it now.

“It will probably be more of the same tomorrow (Sunday), try to make a lot of pars.”

Jaidee moved into contention with a fine round of two under par 69 that leaves him four back of Stadler while US Open champion Martin Kaymer carded 70 to stand alone in fourth, a further two shots back.

“The good thing today was my putting, except for the last hole where I made bogey,” said Jaidee.

“It’s going to be a very challenging day tomorrow (Sunday), it was windy today and raining at times, sometimes the wind was blowing in different directions and it was gusty which made it difficult,” added Jaidee.

Stadler, the son of former Masters’ winner Craig ‘the Walrus’ Stadler is making his first appearance at the Albatross layout near Versailles as he chases a third career victory.

After winning the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2006, he returned to winning ways in February at the Phoenix Open and is now set to play at the British Open on July 17 at Hoylake for the first time since 2008.