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Owen Holds Slight Advantage in Britain

WARWICKSHIRE, England -- Greg Owen, who held a share of the overnight lead, fired a 5-under 67 on Saturday to open up a four-shot lead after three rounds of the British Masters. Owen stands at 13-under-par 203.
Richard Green, who shared the overnight lead with Owen, managed just a 1- under 71. He shares second place with Ian Poulter at 9-under-par 207.
Owen stumbled out of the gate as he bogeyed the par-4 second. He recovered that stroke with a birdie at the fourth, then birdied the par-5 seventh for the second consecutive day.
'It was a bit of a shock really,' said Owen of his early bogey. 'I didn't hit a bad tee shot or second shot but got a hard bounce and went over the back.'
Around the turn, Owen found another favorite hole. He rolled in a birdie try at the par-4 10th, his third birdie in three rounds on that hole. The Englishman then drained a birdie putt at the 12th.
Owen extended his lead to three strokes with a 10-foot eagle putt at the par-5 17th.
'I knew a birdie was in the cards and it was nice to get one extra,' said Owen, who is searching for his first European Tour victory. 'Just three good shots and if it goes in the hole, nice to see them rewarded.'
Owen knows that those trailing him will have to go low to knock him out of first place.
'There are easy birdies out there if you hit the shots,' Owen said. 'It's up to them to make even more than me. I am just going to try not to make any mistakes like the last three days.'
Poulter had the round of the day by three strokes. His 9-under 63 moved him from a tie for 57th, to a share of second. He exploded out of the gate with four straight birdies, all from within eight feet, to start his round.
'I would have snapped your arm off to take that at the start,' Poulter said. 'It's one of the nicer rounds I've ever played.'
Poulter continued his rolled with his fifth birdie at the seventh. He made the turn at 6-under thanks to a birdie at par-4 ninth.
He got hot again on the back nine as he picked up another birdie at the par-5 12th. Poulter then converted back-to-back birdies from the 14th, both from within six feet.
Poulter, who won the Wales Open last week, made his 10th and final birdie of the day at No. 17. However, he made his lone mistake at the last. He three-putted for bogey at the par-3 closing hole to cap his tremendous round.
'The confidence from last week was lovely,' Poulter said. 'My timing was a bit off yesterday. I was standing there trying to hit the ball too hard. I was told that yesterday and obviously it was nice to get my rhythm back.'
Green, like Owen, seemed to wilt under the pressure of playing in the final group. He bogeyed the second, but was able to recover that stroke with a birdie at the fourth. Green dropped another stroke with a bogey at the fifth.
The Australian settled down from there. He made his third birdie in three days at the seventh before rolling off four straight pars. Green took advantage of the par-5 12th by making a birdie to get to 9-under.
Green birdied the par-5 17th for the third consecutive round, however, like Poulter, Green bogeyed the last hole to fall four off the pace.
David Lynn and Matthew Blackey are tied for fourth at 8-under-par 208. Darren Fichardt and Barry Lane are among seven players one shot further back at minus-7.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the British Masters
  • Full coverage of the British Masters