Bjorn Bounces Back After Rough Start

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Philip Golding drained a late birdie that snapped a six-way tie and gave him a round of 4-under 68 Saturday after the third round at the Open de France. Golding owns a one-shot lead and stands at 12-under-par 204.
 
Thomas Bjorn, the overnight leader, struggled early but recovered for a 1-under 71 to move to 11-under-par 205. He shares second place with Peter O'Malley (66), Pierre Fulke (67), David Howell (69) and Barry Lane (67).
 
Golding began his round two strokes behind Bjorn to start the day on the Albatross Course at Le Golf National. The Englishman birdied the first for a fast start, then ran home a birdie try at the fifth to get to minus-10.
 
Golding grabbed his first share of the lead with a birdie at the eighth. However that was short lived as he bogeyed the next.
 
Around the turn, he converted another birdie at the 11th. Golding, who finished in a tie for 66th here last year, dropped another shot at the par-4 13th.
 
He returned to a share of the lead with a birdie at the 15th. Golding then snapped the logjam atop the leaderboard with his third birdie in three rounds at No. 18.
 
Golding is looking to duplicate the feat of Malcolm MacKenzie from last year. MacKenzie won this event last year after 20 years of tour without a title. The 40-year-old Golding is in a similar spot. He has been on tour since the age of 20 and has had to make 16 trips to qualifying school to retain his tour card.
 
'Malcolm won last year and it would be fantastic to finish that way,' Golding said. 'Winning is a dream. I would like to win and shall do my best tomorrow and see what happens. I will break it down to playing one hole at a time and one shot at a time. That is all you can do and not get ahead of yourself. And enjoy the experience of playing in the last group.'
 
Of the group at minus-11, O'Malley was the first one to reach the clubhouse at that number. He exploded out of the gate with three straight birdies to open his round. O'Malley went onto record three more birdies on the front side, before carding two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine.
 
Bjorn posted three bogeys over his first seven holes to fall to minus-7. He birdied three of five holes from the eighth and closed his round with a birdie at 17th to gain a share of second.
 
Fulke, who has been trying to change his swing for two years, birdied Nos. 3, 5 and 6 before dropping a shot at the seventh. On the back side, Fulke ran off three straight birdies from the 13th for a 5-under 67.
 
'I thought I was going to be a better player by changing my swing a little bit and that hasn't worked,' said Fulke. 'The feelings I used to have on the course haven't been there. So this week I went back to what I used to do. I am hitting the ball really nicely. All my feelings and the focus I used to have are back. And my putting has come back as well this week.'
 
Howell mixed in two birdies and a bogey on the front nine. He ran off three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the 13th to get to 12-under and solo first. He cost himself a share of the lead with a bogey at the 17th.
 
Lane was steady during his bogey-free round. He birdied the third, then ran off nine consecutive pars. He closed with four birdies over the final six holes to gain a share of second.
 
Stephen Gallacher and Raphael Jacquelin share seventh place at 10-under-par 206. Jose Maria Olazabal, Marcel Siem and Jose Manuel Lara are one stroke further back at minus-9.
 
Eric Chaudouet, a French amateur who shared the first-round lead, came back with a 3-under 69 to climb to 4-under-par 212 after surviving on the cut line of minus-1.
 
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