Englishmen David Lynn and Danny Willett tied for the lead at the European Tour’s Austrian Open on Saturday, two strokes ahead of a threesome that included European Ryder Cup player Graeme McDowell.
Lynn shot an 8-under 64 and Willett had a 65 to stand at 13-under 203 after the third round.
The 37-year-old Lynn, who hasn’t won on the European Tour since the 2004 Dutch Open, had an eagle and four birdies in six holes from the 10th. He is 99th on the money list this season and was surprised by his round.
“It came out of the blue,” Lynn said. “It was my best round of the year by far.”
Willett, one of the biggest hitters on tour, had an eagle and seven birdies, but lost the chance for the outright lead when he drove into trees at No. 16.
“The conditions were perfect,” Willett said. “It’s nice to be contention and it would be nice to get my first win on tour, but it is only my second season out here and I have got to be patient.”
McDowell appears to be rediscovering his form before the Ryder Cup in October. He shot a second straight 68 to reach 11 under, and missed a short birdie putt on No. 17 that would have given the player from Northern Ireland sole possession of third place.
England’s Chris Gane (66) and Sweden’s Pelle Edberg (68) were at 11 under with McDowell.
Matthias Schwab, a 15-year-old Austrian amateur, continued his impressive play. Although he bogeyed the last hole, Schwab had five birdies in a second straight 69 to finish the day at 8-under and head into the fourth round tied for ninth place.
Overnight leader John Parry, chasing a top-10 finish Sunday to earn his 2011 tour card, shot a four-over 72 and is five strokes behind the leaders. The Challenge Tour graduate suffered a nightmare start – he followed up a bogey on No. 2 with a double bogey on No. 5.
Gane picked up six shots over his first 12 holes. The 36-year-old Londoner, whose only blemish of the front nine came with a bogey at the par-3 fifth, picked up shots on the first, second, seventh and ninth holes and then birdied the first three holes of his back nine to move to 11 under for the tournament.