Bradley Dredge stormed to a flawless six under par third round 66 at the inaugural D+D REAL Czech Masters, usurping his Welsh compatriot and Ryder Cup hopeful Jamie Donaldson at the top of the leaderboard and taking a two-shot lead into the final day at Albatross Golf Resort.
The two-time European Tour winner came to this event on the back of a runner-up finish at last week’s Made in Denmark and, after a difficult spell during which he lost his European Tour playing rights, Dredge enters a final round in the lead for a second week running.
It has been an incredible turnaround in form for the 41 year old and he had a bogey-free round to thank on the third day as he moved from three shots back to the summit on 12 under par.
While Donaldson relinquished the overnight lead for the first time all week, he is still in contention for a third European Tour victory and on course to secure his place in Paul McGinley’s European Team for next month’s Ryder Cup.
The 38 year old signed for a one under par 71 to share second place on ten under with another multiple winner on tour, Dane Søren Kjeldsen, who like Dredge is feeding off the energy of a positive performance in his home nation last week and recorded a four under par third round 68.
Grégory Bourdy fell to his worst round of the week but a one under 71 was still enough to keep him within touching distance as he chases a fifth European Tour title.
Key player quotes:
Bradley Dredge, 68-70-66 (-12)
“I’m obviously happy with my score today. It wasn’t my best ball striking round but it was a good scoring round, that’s for sure. I lost my card at the end of 2012 and had a few health problems to sort out.
“Last week was huge for me. I didn’t win and I would have loved to have won but Marc played fantastic in the last round I thought he handled himself really well and totally outplayed me. I didn’t play well enough.
“Still, I felt as though I played some good golf and I took a lot of confidence from it. I was hoping to bring it here with me this week and I have so far.
“It was a bit breezy at the start, then it switched around a bit and died down for the last few holes so the wind was a bit indifferent but I was certainly pleased with the score.
“I managed to get some good shots in close there and the putter was working well, which it’s got to. I made the odd good save and got on a bit of a run with the birdies.
“No bogeys since the first day and it’s nice when you do that. All the birdies count then and I’ve been delighted with the last two rounds so if I can do that again tomorrow I would be over the moon.
“It’s nice to be up the top and contending again at this tournament, it’s what all of us guys practise for and I’m enjoying it so hopefully I can have a good round again tomorrow.”
Jamie Donaldson, 66-69-71 (-10)
“I played well, it was just a couple of poor shots here and there which forced a few dropped shots. I hit a lot of good shots but still dropped shots, like on the par three 13th. I hit a great shot in there and it’s just run through and this rough is quite tricky around the greens.
“I’ve played nicely and hit a lot of good shots and tomorrow I have to just eradicate the bogeys, like I said yesterday. I didn’t manage to do that today but I had a lot of birdies as well so the game is there or thereabouts. It’s just a case of eradicating the rubbish and pressing on tomorrow.
“It’s hard to predict what the rough is going to do around the greens. I had one where you think it’s going to come out softly so you end up smashing it and it’s still not come out. It’s really thick and sticky and they’ve certainly not cut it, they’ve let it grow as the week’s gone on so if you just miss the fairway it becomes tricky. Saying that you hit a better shot and you’re not in there in the first place.
“The course is set up well, it’s set up for low scoring if you play well and if you’re wide it’s different, so it’s hit the fairways and try get your approaches close.
“It’s (Ryder Cup) been there for a while, yesterday and the day before but it’s just a case of keeping playing well and concentrating on the tournament. I can only control what I’m doing and not what everyone else is doing or what’s happening around me.
“Brad is a great guy and he’s playing well again which is great to see… too well! But it was there for my taking today and to extend the lead. I played well enough to do that but I didn’t, too many sloppy mistakes but that’s golf.”
Søren Kjedsen, 68-70-68
“It was great, I played flawless golf for the first 14 holes but then made a mental mistake on my second shot at 15 and lost it a little bit for a couple of holes but the putter saved me. I was lucky with my chip at 15 and made three good putts on the last three holes.
“It was a nice combination of flawless golf and then a battling spirit in the last few holes so it was a nice mix.
“I’m loving it at the moment. I was out there with good guys again today we had a lot of fun. But playing well, you just can’t beat that.
“It’s great, I always enjoyed playing with Bradley, he’s always been a great player but he’s had a few injuries so nice to see him playing well and we’re enjoying it.
“It’s baby steps for me and this has been three good days for me and I’ll try and build on that and see where it takes me.”
Grégory Bourdy, 67-67-71 (-9)
“It was not as good as start as the first two rounds, a double bogey at the fourth, but I played solid after that and I got two nice birdies at seven and nine, so it was important to get back to level par after nine holes.
“Then I missed a few putts for birdies on the back nine but I had a very good three at 17 so I’m still OK, nine under and not far from the lead so I feel good.
“I have my chance tomorrow to win the tournament so I’m pretty happy with those three rounds. I think I could have done better than that today but that’s golf and tomorrow 18 holes to play and I’ll do my best to finish this tournament well.”
204 B Dredge (Wal) 68 70 66,
206 J Donaldson (Wal) 66 69 71, S Kjeldsen (Den) 68 70 68,
207 G Bourdy (Fra) 69 67 71,
208 S Gallacher (Sco) 70 67 71, M Bremner (RSA) 70 68 70,
209 D Lipsky (USA) 69 71 69, P Waring (Eng) 68 71 70, G Porteous (Eng) 70 67 72,
210 R Karlberg (Swe) 70 72 68, J Morrison (Eng) 70 68 72, S Webster (Eng) 70 72 68, S Walker (Eng) 69 71 70, K Ferrie (Eng) 68 71 71, M Baldwin (Eng) 72 71 67, T Fleetwood (Eng) 72 65 73,
211 A Pavan (Ita) 72 70 69, P Hedblom (Swe) 70 68 73, S Chowrasia (Ind) 68 75 68, A Sullivan (Eng) 69 73 69, M Lundberg (Swe) 67 76 68, J Colomo (Esp) 69 71 71, C Lee (Sco) 69 71 71, P Lawrie (Sco) 70 70 71, J Hansen (Den) 70 69 72,
212 F Calmels (Fra) 70 72 70, P Archer (Eng) 69 72 71, A Otaegui (Esp) 70 70 72, T Lee (USA) 72 68 72, P Whiteford (Sco) 70 70 72, T Sluiter (Ned) 69 73 70,
213 J Sjöholm (Swe) 74 70 69, A Saddier (Fra) 71 72 70, R Gonzalez (Arg) 74 68 71, Z Scotland (Eng) 74 70 69, E Pepperell (Eng) 70 72 71, A Hartø (Den) 73 71 69, D Stewart (Sco) 70 69 74, J Hahn (USA) 68 69 76, H Porteous (RSA) 74 70 69, N Elvira (Esp) 72 71 70, D Huizing (Ned) 69 74 70,
214 A Forsyth (Sco) 73 71 70, S Kim (Kor) 74 67 73, O Stark (Swe) 71 67 76, T Hatton (Eng) 70 73 71, E Dubois (Fra) 71 73 70, J Luiten (Ned) 70 71 73, G Bhullar (Ind) 72 71 71, L Slattery (Eng) 68 69 77, J Heath (Eng) 73 70 71, K Phelan (Irl) 72 69 73, F Aguilar (Chi) 73 71 70, R Kakko (Fin) 70 70 74,
215 P Uihlein (USA) 70 73 72, J Knutzon (USA) 70 71 74, P Sjöland (Swe) 72 72 71, F Andersson Hed (Swe) 72 68 75, J Lagergren (Swe) 71 68 76, R Bland (Eng) 71 70 74, A Wall (Eng) 72 72 71, D Willett (Eng) 68 75 72,
216 K Horne (RSA) 68 74 74, S Wakefield (Eng) 70 74 72, G Stal (Fra) 71 73 72, S Kapur (Ind) 71 70 75, J Kingston (RSA) 76 68 72,
217 D Frittelli (RSA) 72 70 75, H Otto (RSA) 70 71 76, E Grillo (Arg) 72 72 73, M Foster (Eng) 74 69 74, T Lewis (Eng) 74 70 73, P Lawrie (Irl) 72 72 73, D McGrane (Irl) 73 70 74, S Manley (Wal) 71 72 74, G Boyd (Eng) 72 70 75,
218 S Jamieson (Sco) 71 73 74, M Nixon (Eng) 68 74 76, J Doherty (Sco) 73 69 76,
219 B Stone (RSA) 71 73 75, D Kemmer (USA) 71 70 78, C Hanson (Eng) 74 70 75,
220 B Evans (Eng) 74 70 76,
221 G Maybin (Nir) 72 72 77,
Source: European Tour