CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland – Alexander Noren of Sweden shot an 8-under 63 Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the European Masters.
Noren was at 15-under 198 in his bid for his first European tour victory. Charl Schwartzel of South Africa was at 200 after a 65. Bradley Dredge of Wales shot a 68 and was three shots back.
Second-round leader Thomas Aiken of South Africa (75) and first-round leader Brett Rumford of Australia (72) were nine shots behind.
Noren took the lead with an eagle at the 15th and birdies at the 16th and 18th.
“Today I was calmer within myself, more letting it happen,” he said.
Schwartzel had eight birdies, including one with a 35-foot putt at the 14th. He three-putted from 3 feet for bogey at No. 7.
Angelo Que of the Philippines trails by four strokes in a tournament sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.
“I was fortunate to play and make the cut,” he said. “It’s big. I imagine myself carrying the Asian tour flag and I’ll try to make them even more proud.”
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who lost a playoff for the European Masters last year, had a 70 and was 10 strokes off the lead.
“I hit a lot of good putts that didn’t go in, that I felt were going in but just peeled off at the end,” he said. “Just one of those days.”