Munich, Germany – Danny Willett carded a 3-under 69 on Saturday to take a 1-stroke lead after three rounds of the BMW International.
Willett, who is winless on the European Tour, completed 54 holes at 12-under- par 204 at Golfclub Munchen Nord-Eichenried.
Second-round leader Joel Sjoholm had four birdies and four bogeys in an up- and-down round of even-par 72. He shares second place at minus-11 with Chris Wood (72).
Keith Horne matched the low round of the day with his 5-under 67 in round three. He is tied for fourth with Marcus Fraser (68) at 10-under-par 206.
Marcel Siem (68), Richard Sterne (69) and Fabrizio Zanotti (72) share sixth at minus-9. Siem briefly had the lead at 12-under after birdies on 12 and 13, but he bogeyed three of the next four holes to slide back.
Willett started his round with a birdie on the first. He then birdied the par-5 third for third straight day to move to 11-under. After a bogey on the fifth, Willett came right back with a birdie on No. 6.
The 24-year-old stumbled to another bogey on the seventh. He got that stroke back with a long birdie putt at the 11th.
Willett, whose best finish this year was a share of third in Malaysia, birdied the 13th and 16th to grab the lead at minus-13. After a par on 17, he faltered to a bogey at the last to end one ahead.
"I got the ball under pretty good control most of the day. The wind was whipping around a bit, but I drove the ball great which makes it a lot easier around this golf course," Willett said. "If you want to be in contention, you have to have things go your way a little bit. It's good to be back in a position where I feel like I should be."
Wood had a steady front nine. He birdied the third and sixth, both par-5s, for the third straight round. A birdie on the par-4 ninth helped him make the turn at 12-under, where he had the lead.
The Sicilian Open runner-up parred the first seven holes around the turn while Willett took the lead. Wood tripped to a bogey on 17 to slip to 11-under and he ended there with a par on 18.
Sjoholm birdied the second for the third day in a row. He stumbled to a bogey at the fourth, but erased that mistake with a birdie on No. 5.
The 27-year-old fell out of the lead as he bogeyed three of four holes from the sixth to tumble to nine-under. Sjoholm managed to get two of those strokes back with a birdies on the 13th and 15th. He parred the last three to end one behind Willett.
"I really did not expect to feel a little bit of tension, because I've been leading tournaments before as an amateur, but never as a pro, so I thought it would be the same, and it isn't really the same," admitted Sjoholm. "Today it feels good to actually walk off the course with an even-par score when I was plus-2. I was in danger of a terrible finish, and instead I actually made two good pars out of nowhere."
NOTES: Defending champion Pablo Larrazabal carded a 72 and is tied for 27th at minus-4...Henrik Stenson, the 2006 winner, and two-time victor Thomas Bjorn share 11th place at 7-under-par 209...Two former champions -- Colin Montgomerie and David Howell -- both celebrated birthdays on Saturday.