Danny Willett will start the final round of the BMW International Open with a one shot lead as the Englishman seeks his maiden European Tour victory.
On a leaderboard where only one of the top five have won on The European Tour, the 24 year old carded a three under par 69 to reach 12 under par at Gut Lärchenhof.
Willett turned in 35, holed a huge putt across the green for birdie at the short 11th and, after another gain at the 14th, pitched to six feet at the par five 16th for his sixth birdie of the day – although there was a third bogey at the last.
“I got the ball under pretty good control most of the day,” said the former Walker Cup star, who has had 19 top-ten finishes on The European Tour without winning. “The wind was whipping around a bit but I drove the ball great which makes it a lot easier around this golf course.
“If you want to be in contention, you have to have things go your way a little bit. It's good to be back in a position where I feel like I should be.
“Tomorrow is just a case of making sure you go through everything properly, make sure you get the right numbers in your hand and you have the right feeling for the shot and see what you can do.
“Regardless of tomorrow, we have got a spell of four really good weeks, Open Qualifying Monday, and then we go Ireland, France, Scotland and then there are some great events at the end of the season. So I'm just looking forward to being able to play probably another 12 or 13 events on my schedule this year, fairly fit, lots of training and get on a really good leap forward from where I've been.”
Willett’s round put him one ahead of compatriot Chris Wood and halfway leader Joel Sjöholm, with South African Keith Horne and Australian Marcus Fraser – who has victories in Korea and Russia to his name -on ten under.
“I played really well at the start and gave myself a lot of chances,” said Fraser, who held a share of the lead after the opening round. “I missed a couple of putts but overall pretty happy. I scrambled pretty well from the start of the back nine and managed to birdie the last which capped off a good day.
“Yesterday was good in my mind in that I didn't put myself out of the tournament, because I didn't play great, and could have quite easily been well back but made a few putts and stayed in there. Today I played well and got back into it, so it was a good day.”