Els and Björn do battle in Germany

6/23/2013 2:31:00 PM
Ernie Els  (Getty Images)
Ernie Els (Getty Images)
Veterans Ernie Els and Thomas Björn entered the home stretch tied for the lead at the BMW International Open.

Both players were 17 under par with six holes remaining at Golfclub München Eichenried, with France’s Alexander Levy a shot further back.

Denmark’s Björn had made the first move of the day with a hat-trick of birdies from the third – a 20 foot putt at the fourth the highlight – giving him the outright lead.

Open Champion Els responded with three gains in four holes from the fifth, but both the South African and playing partner Björn dropped shots at the long 11th.

That allowed French rookie Levy, who practices at European Tour Property Terre Blanche, to lead after an outward 33.

However, the Qualifying School graduate bogeyed the tenth and 12th to fall one behind Els, who was joined by Björn when the 13-time European Tour winner birdied the short 12th.

Björn hooked his drive left into thick rough at the 14th and could only chip out onto the fairway, then sliced his approach a good 40 yards right and double bogeyed.

That left Els one clear as Levy followed a birdie at the 13th with a bogey at the 15th.