CHAMBOURCY, France – John Parry of England shot a 2-under 70 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Vivendi Cup on Saturday.
Parry, a 23-year-old chasing his first European Tour win, was at 15-under 201, one shot ahead of Mark Haastrup of Denmark (66) and Johan Edfors of Sweden (67) at Golf de Joyenval Club on the outskirts of Paris.
Jarmo Sandelin was tied with Parry with two holes to play, but failed to hit the green with his drive at the short 17th and missed a 10-foot putt. The Swede dropped another shot at the final hole after he landed in a greenside bunker.
Sandelin, who had been joint leader with Parry at the start of the day, finished with a 72 that left him tied for fourth, two shots behind.
Parry will start Sunday’s final round 10 shots ahead of Padraig Harrington. The highest ranked player in the field is using the Paris event to prepare for next week’s Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
Harrington shot a 70 despite four-putting the fourth green, and then defended his choice as a European wild card ahead of England’s Paul Casey. Harrington has had three sketchy rounds here, reflecting his failure to win in either Europe or America for the past two years.
“There’s so much outside focus, labels and things like that and trying to put me in a box,” the Irishman said. “But I am who I am. I can’t really do anything about what other people’s expectations are and I have to get away from that.
“… I am who I am and I play my game a certain way and I can’t be worried about what everybody else thinks. I just have to add the score up at the end of the day and concentrate on that.”
Parry, a former Walker Cup player, also will try to focus on the task at hand. He led Austrian Open after two rounds last weekend, but failed to handle the pressure and finished 20th.
He believes the lessons he learned from that experience could help him Sunday.
“I was a bit nervous out there, but felt that I had got used to the pressure of playing in front of the cameras,” Parry said.
“I just went out there with the mindset of trying to play every shot as I saw it. And if I can do that again and I hit the shots that I want to then I should be there or thereabouts at the end.”
Parry, who had five birdies Saturday, admitted he had one huge slice of luck at one of the par-5s when he drove his ball into a bush.
“When I got there I found I had a shot I could play and I ended up making a birdie,” he said. “I had been looking at a six and ended up with a four. That gave me some momentum that helped.”