Alstom French Open: Graeme McDowell closing in on third title of 2013 in Paris
Graeme McDowell has claimed a share of the lead alongside Richard Sterne going into the final round of the French Open.
Last Updated: 07/07/13 1:32pm
The Northern Irishman followed up two opening rounds of 69 with a composed 70 on Saturday, putting him joint at the top alongside South African Richard Sterne on five under par with one round remaining.
McDowell, who arrived in Paris having missed the cut in five of his last six strokeplay events, although he did win the RBC Heritage and the Volvo World Match Play Championship earlier in the year, birdied the third and 11th and only bogeyed the 17th on a difficult scoring day at the 2018 Ryder Cup venue.
England's David Howell is one of three men tracking McDowell and Sterne, just one shot adrift after carding four birdies and two bogeys in his impressive round of 69.
Austria's Bernd Wiesberger went one better than Howell with an excellent 68 and was joined on four-under by Australia's Richard Green by the end of the day.
Overnight leader Fabrizio Zanotti suffered a day to forget, however, birdieing the third before reeling off triple bogeys at four and seven and a double at 13 to plummet down the leaderboard on one over par.
Thomas Bjorn also slipped down the standings with an error-strewn round of 74. The Dane briefly held the outright lead on seven under par before dropping four shots in the final three holes to finish three shots off the leaders.
The leaderboard remains congested heading into the final round with 26 players lurking within five shots of the lead.
Another Englishman, Simon Dyson, will fancy his chances of a final day charge after shooting a third round of 72 to end the day on three under par - the same score as dangerous Dane Soren Kjeldsen.