Bernhard Langer will take a commanding eight shot lead into the final day of the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl.
The German shot a third round of 68 after making four birdies and a single bogey on Saturday and sits on 14 under par with one round remaining.
Langer has led throughout the tournament and has made just three bogey during his 54 holes so far and he looks to close in on a comfortable victory. He finished runner-up last year after throwing away a two shot lead on the final hole before eventually losing in a play-off.
But Langer doesn't look like throwing away his current lead as he strolled through the Welsh course in the hot conditions on Saturday.
He carried on from a good second round on Friday by extending his lead to eight shots after just two holes. A testing green on the second hole was negotiated by Langer as he holed an impressive 30 foot putt to claim his first birdie.
Langer admitted that he virtually has the trophy won and is excited to be in this position with one round left. However, he is wary of the wind that prove difficult tomorrow.
“The title is probably in my hands but there is a lot of golf left to play," Langer said.
“This is a tough course and there should be a lot of wind tomorrow so I’m still going to have to hit a lot of good golf shots and stay out of trouble.
He continued: “It’s very exciting to be in the running for the only major on the European Tour.
“It’s a beautiful trophy and an amazing title so it would be exciting to win it again.”
Missed Eagle putt
Things could have been even better for Langer after he missed an eagle putt on the 18th and had to settle for a birdie. The 56 year old was happy with the distance of his drives, especially his last one of the day.
"I hit some good drives," said Langer to Sky Sports.
"The one at 18, I still can't believe how far that went. But that's how it is right now, it's very bouncy and firm and I was very fortunate not to end up in a bunker there on 18."
Langer won the last senior major - the Players Championship last month and will be hoping to win his second Senior Open after winning the 2010 event at Carnoustie.
Canada's Rick Gibson is the nearest challenger after a five under par 66 while Colin Montgomerie is 11 behind Langer after a 72.
Montgomerie is seeking to emulate Gary Player by winning three senior major titles in a single season but has struggled to regain the form that saw his win the US Senior Open and USPGA Championship earlier this year.
A double bogey on the 10th followed by a bogey on the 11th made it difficult for the 51 year old to recover to save his round.
He did get to within seven shots of Langer at one stage but after being tied in second overnight, Mongomerie will be disappointed to be so far behind.
Langer admits he was always wary of Montgomerie but is glad to have kept the distance.
"I think at one stage Monty got to within seven but it was always about that mark. That was always my goal, not to relinquish any shots to the rest of the field. I only increased [the lead] by one but it's better than the other way around," Langer concluded.
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