Saturday, 02 June 2001
Australia's Ian Stanley moved a step closer to winning his second European Seniors Tour title when he returned a four under par 68 to move into a commanding three shot lead after the third round of the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship over the new Jack Nicklaus course at Carden Park in Cheshire.

Stanley, 52, from Melbourne, who secured his maiden Seniors Tour victory at last season's Kaiser Karl Coca-Cola event in Germany, goes into the final round on 11 under par 205, three shots ahead of England's Maurice Bembridge who also returned a 68 that included three birdies in his last four holes.

New Zealand's Simon Owen, who sold his farm Down Under to finance his first sortie on the Seniors Tour, stands alone in third place after a level par 72 for a three round total of seven under par 209.

Three shots further back, another New Zealander, Barry Vivian, shares fourth place with England’s Steve Wild, who had to pre-Qualify for this championship, with Canada’s Bill Hardwick, Scotland’s Jim Farmer, England’s Nick Job and Americans, Ray Carrasco and David Ojala all sharing sixth place on three under par 213.

"That was a good round of golf," said Stanley, who commentates on golf for Fox TV when he is not competing on the Seniors Tour. "I played some solid stuff but I can't afford to get ahead of myself. There's still a lot to do tomorrow."

Bembridge, known as one of the shorter hitters on the Seniors Tour, made a nonsense of the prediction that the Nicklaus course at Carden Park would favour the longer hitters, returning his second sub-70 score of the week.

“I played pretty well out there today,” said the pipe-smoking Bembridge who represented GB & I in four Ryder Cups in the late 1960s and early 1970s and who has won twice on the European Seniors Tour.

“I made only two mistakes, hitting bad drives at the 11th and 13th but I more than made up for that with a good finish that gives me a chance of catching Ian tomorrow.”

Canada's Bill Hardwick leads the race for the £500 Hardy Wines Super Seniors prize awarded to the leading competitor over the age of 60.

Hardwick, from Toronto, who won the 1998 Ryder Seniors Classic, produced a four under par 68 for a three round aggregate of 213, three shots in front of South Africa's Bobby Verwey and four shots ahead of England's Neil Coles.

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