NEWPORT, Wales – Marcel Siem of Germany shot a 5-under 66 Saturday to open up a three-stroke lead in the Wales Open at Celtic Manor and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher set a course record.
Dane Thomas Bjorn (68) and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez Castano (66) share second place with an 8-under 205 ahead of the final round.
The course record of 65, equalled on the first two days by Chris Wood and Luke Donald, was lowered to 63 by Gallacher.
The 35-year-old nephew of former European Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher produced six birdies and a closing eagle at the 18th hole where he successfully converted a 4-foot putt.
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell also broke the old course record by shooting a 64, after birdies at the last two holes.
Gallacher, McDowell and England’s Simon Dyson (65) share fourth place at 7 under.
Siem said he would have to remain calm in the final round if he is to win for the first time on the European Tour since victory at the 2004 Dunhill Championship.
“”I am 29-years-old and I have to learn how to control myself and to do that I sing and whistle my way around the golf course,” Siem said.
“But it’s not always been like that. Back in 2007 … I snapped a driver at the end of the round and I nearly started crying. Kids nearby were looking at the ground because I had scared them. That’s the worst it’s ever been and I never ever want to get like that again.”
Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie had a 5-over 76, dropping from 14th to 47th place. The Scot walked off the course, declining to talk to waiting reporters.
On Friday, Montgomerie said his performance as captain will not be affected by a newspaper claim that he was unfaithful to his wife.
The Ryder Cup takes place at Celtic Manor in October.