Peter Lawrie slipped a disappointing eight shots off the pace as England’s Mark Foster carved out a two-shot lead entering the final round of the BMW International Open in in Munich.
The 35-year old Englishman shot a 66 to lead in 14 under as Lawrie struggled to a one over 73 that relegated him to tied 23rd on six under.
The Dubliner was just three shots off the lead starting the day but he lacked the sharpness of the first two days and followed a birdie at the first with bogeys at the fifth, 10th and 17th before repairing some of the damage with a birdie at the last.
The joint overnight leaders had contrasting days with South African George Coetzee now tied for second with compatriot Retief Goosen (67), a resurgent Sergio Garcia (64), Robert Coles (65) and Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal on 12 under after a 70.
Henrik Stenson, who led with Coetzee on 10 under at halfway, followed a run of 10 straight pars with a quadruple bogey nine at the 11th before finishing with three straight birdies for a 73 that saw him slip five shots off the pace.
Garcia’s best of the day effort give the former World No 2 a chance of qualifying for next month’s Open Championship at Sandwich and earning his first tour win for two and a half years.
According to agency reports:
Joint seventh at last week’s US Open, the 31 year old grabbed nine birdies after starting the day six behind and even led on his own for a while.
A top-four finish could give Garcia one of two Open places up for grabs off a mini-money list that has been running on The European Tour for the past month.
But there is hot competition for them. Foster could take one by coming second and Coles by winning.
“I knew for British Open purposes I needed to do something special,” said Garcia, who a month ago pulled out of a qualifying event in America because of an infected fingernail.
“Last week was good - it was nice to be up there in a Major again.
“I didn’t have a chance to win because Rory (McIlroy) was playing out of his mind, but it feels like the game is coming along and I think my putting is definitely improving.”
Garcia, who made it into the US Open only through a qualifying play-off, has not missed a Major since the 1999 Open at Carnoustie.