GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Peter Hedblom shot a 4-under 68 Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Paul Lawrie after three rounds at the Johnnie Walker Championship.
The 39-year-old Swede, who lost a playoff at the Dutch Open last week, was at 8-under 208. Lawrie (73) dropped into second place after bogeys on Nos. 15-16 Gleneagles.
“I didn’t feel that good or hit it that good in my warm-up but I played really well, very similar to last week,” Hedblom said. “In the past I have struggled after a good week but this time I have tried to bring the confidence from last week into this week.”
Hedblom’s only two victories came at the 1996 Moroccan Open and the 2007 Malaysian Open.
Steven O’Hara, who barely made the cut Friday, had the day’s best round with a 66 in the morning. He was two strokes behind Hedblom and tied for third with Jamie Donaldson (70), Gregory Bourdy (71) and Soren Hansen (71).
Colin Montgomerie, who also barely made the cut, shot 72 and ended up in 32nd. Europe’s Ryder Cup captain is hoping for a top-20 finish.
“A decent round tomorrow could get me there,” Montgomerie said.
Lawrie said he found it difficult in the toughest wind of the week but felt unlucky to be 1 over after five holes when he could have been 2 under.
He bogeyed the 10th and then birdied three of the next four before making the two late bogeys.
“At 15, I had 168 yards to the pin and hit a full 9 iron into the bunker,” the 1999 British Open champion said. “At 16, I had just 131 into the wind and I tried to chip a little 8-iron and the wind died and it went into the bunker. Worst shot you’ve ever seen.”
O’Hara began with a 15-footer for eagle at the second and added one from 40 feet for birdie at the short.
“The greens were much better so early compared with yesterday afternoon and I was able to hole some putts,” said the Scot, who made five more birdies, including three in a row from the 12th.