Wolfgang Huget from Germany takes a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Galeria Kaufhof Pokal Challenge at Golfpark Rittergut Birkhof. Tino Schuster would have joined him in top spot but his compatriot ran into a disaster on the final hole.
The pair were sharing the lead for most of a breezy third day and they were still joint first playing the par four 18th. But while Huget secured his par and 69, Schuster ran up a quadruple-bogey eight for 73.
Schuster, who also dropped a shot at the short 17th, saw his disaster unfold when he hit his drive into the punishing rough. He failed to extricate his ball at the first attempt and with his third stroke fired it out of bounds. After taking a penalty shot, he took two more to reach the green in six then two-putted for his eight.
It leaves Huget on 203, 16 under par, while Schuster shares second place on 206 with another German, Alex Cejka, who also carded a 69, Sweden’s Johan Edfors, who went round in 67, and two Englishmen, Robert McGuirk, with 71, and Sam Walker, who equalled the course record of 63.
Walker, a former England Boy international, just survived the cut on the limit of three under par. But he was in top form as he carded seven birdies and back-to-back eagles. These came at the long 15th and 332-yard 16th where he holed his approach with a wedge.
His 63 equalled the record set in the first round by German amateur Christian Reimbold.
Five more players are bracketed in seventh place on 207. They include two more Englishmen, Andrew Marshall, who returned 69, and Ben Mason, with 71. They are joined by the Danish duo of Mads Vibe-Hastrup (69) and Thomas Havemann (70), and South African Ian Kennedy (70).
England’s Mark Hilton, who began the day alongside Huget in second place, a shot off the pace, slipped to a 74 for 208 and equal 12th spot with Finn, Kalle Vainola, who returned 69.
England’s Iain Pyman returned the second-best score with 66 including an eagle and six birdies.
No German player has won on the Challenge Tour for four years. The last was Erol Simsek who won the Austrian Open and the Neuchatel Open in 1997.
With three Germans in the top six, including the vastly experienced Cejka, that long wait could end tomorrow.