Friday, 19 March 2010
Omega European Masters - Previews  (Getty Images)
Omega European Masters - Previews (Getty Images)

Charl Schwartzel took over from his fellow South African Thomas Aiken at the top of the leaderboard during the third round of the Omega European Masters.

The 25 year old started the day in a share of eighth place, but in recording seven birdies with only one dropped shot he advanced to 13 under par through 13 holes.

Meanwhile Chris Wood, one of the stars of the last two Open Championships, moved back into contention for a first European Tour title with a six under par 65 in Switzerland.

The 21 year old from Bristol, joint 30th halfway through the Omega European Masters, set the clubhouse target for the rest of the field at ten under par.

Out on the course Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez was second at 12 under, but Wood was up sixth.

As he felt was the case at Turnberry in July, the former England amateur international slipped almost unnoticed into the race at this the first qualifying event for next year's Ryder Cup.

Caddie Dave McNeilly even joked to Wood on the 16th green that he could create Tour history by being the first leader that nobody knew about.

Like Lee Westwood a closing bogey there cost Wood a place in the play-off between Tom Watson and Stewart Cink at The Open Championship - and this a year after he had finished fifth as an amateur at Birkdale.

Schwartzel took over the top by going to the turn in 32 and then adding another birdie at the 405 yard tenth.

His fellow countryman Aiken had been one ahead overnight, but he managed only 38 for the front nine, taking a double bogey on the long ninth.

Westwood had trouble with the par fives as well, taking sixes on the 14th and 15th and then dropping two more shots.

Rory McIlroy, his playing partner for the third day running, was close to needing a miracle as well after a 70 put him on only five under.The 20 year old had the chance this week to go top of The Race to Dubai with victory, but had fallen to joint 33rd.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1NOREN, AlexanderSWE18-20
2DREDGE, BradleyWAL18-18
3McGOWAN, RossENG18-17
4JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-15
5JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-14
6SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-13
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