Els Joined by Levy & Noren for Lead in BMW International Open


The leader in each of the first two rounds of the BMW International Open, Ernie Els, now has company atop the leaderboard in the European Tour event at the Munich Golf Club in Germany.

Els carded a 3-under 69 to reach 15-under 201 for a share of the 54-hole lead with France's Alexander Levy (68) and Sweden's Alex Noren, who shot a 66.

"I missed a couple of putts early on including dropping shots at five, where I hit my putt past the hole, and at seven and I just felt uncomfortable until I made a little adjustment on 11," said Els, who'll be the defending champion when the British Open starts next month at Murfield.

"My balance wasn't quite right and my weight distribution wasn't quite right but after the 11th hole I was fine. But being in the lead and now sharing the lead for three rounds is probably a good thing for me ahead of the Open.

"You are going to have situations in Majors and in other tournaments where things don't quite go your way and it's how you come back from that. So hopefully I can win tomorrow (Sunday) as it's fun to be in this position as it's been some time as I lost to Bernd Weisberger earlier this year in the Indonesian Masters.

"But while it will be great to win in my last event before Muirfield, it won't be the end of the world if I don't win. I just feel that my game has turned around since the BMW PGA last month at Wentworth and I am just building on that. So if I win tomorrow than great and if not, I will still have a good three-week's holiday."

Sitting only a stroke behind the leaders are England's Matthew Baldwin (69) and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, who posted a stellar 7-under 65.

Also in the mix at 203 is American Peter Uihlein, who had a 67. "I'm just happy to keep putting myself in a good position going into the final round. That's what it's all about," said the former U.S. Amateur champion, who instead of trying to qualify the PGA Tour opted to turn pro on the European circuit. So far so good for the Massachusetts native; in May, he won the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal.

Three shots out of the lead are England's Danny Willett (70), South African Brandon Stone (67), the Netherlands' Joost Luiten (67), and two Germans - Marcel Siem and Martin Kaymer, who each shot 69.

For all the scoring details, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013048/leaderboard/index.html.


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