Reuters - Two of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup players, Luke Donald and David Howell, are set to go head-to-head for the BMW International Open title tomorrow, but the event is no two-horse race.
Donald, boosted by a chip-in eagle on the ninth that brought him out of an early stall, shot a third round
five under par 67 at Golfclub München Nord-Eichenried to move to 17 under par 199, a stroke better
than his fellow Englishman Howell, who posted 66.
Brett Rumford of Australia, overnight leader with Donald, Dane Søren Kjeldsen and another Englishman, Simon Khan, are only a shot further back, however, and the burly figure of
the 2001 BMW International Open winner John Daly looms large over the field.
Daly's 65 left him three shots off the lead as he at last found his putter hot at the course where he
finished 27 under par four years ago.
With another logjam of players just behind, Donald erred on the side of caution when he said: "It obviously all depends how David and I go but anyone within four or five shots of the lead still has a chance if they get hot.
"For instance, John Daly's obviously got the length and a very good short game."
After leading at the halfway stage in last week's WGC-NEC International last week but fading to sixth behind winner Tiger Woods, Donald is glad to be straight back in with a chance of breaking his duck for the season.
Howell, who has made a comeback in the last three weeks from two months off with torn stomach muscles, is looking for the same outcome, having lost two play-offs this year and without a win since his maiden European Tour success in the 1999 Dubai Desert Classic.
"I've won two tournaments around the world but they were a few years ago and I've improved since then, so it's strange I've not won again," he said. "I've worked on some different things since my recent injury, though, and hopefully that will stand me in good stead tomorrow."
Argentine Ricardo Gonzalez shares sixth place with Daly. Another player from Argentina, Angel Cabrera, would have been two strokes better but for an unwitting act by his caddie, fellow Argentine Edoardo Gardino that changed his score on the 13th from a par to a double-bogey, taking him back to 13-under-par.
Tournament director Mike Stewart explained: "Cabrera had come up short of the bunker and his caddie walked forward to get the yardage. He paced it out through the bunker and then raked his footprints as he came out, on the line of play for Cabrera.
“It's a two-shot penalty under Rule 13, for improving the line of play for his player."
Swede Niclas Fasth shot a 64, the joint-best score of the week, as he chases a third win of the year which could also earn him an HSBC World Matchplay Championship place. He also won a Rolex watch for making the first eagle of the week on the short par four 16th. He hit the green with a 275 yard tee-shot and holed a 16ft putt to achieve the feat, finishing on 13 under par 203 and only four off the lead.