Crans Montana, Switzerland – Richie Ramsay fired a 6-under 64 on Saturday to grab a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the European Masters.
The second round was completed Saturday morning, after poor visibility forced play to be suspended Friday evening. Play was delayed for another hour and 45 minutes Saturday because of fog, but it didn't prevent players from getting through round three.
Overnight rains did, however, affect the course layout. The sixth hole was changed from a par four to a par three, and because of that, the round's par total was reduced by one to 70.
Ramsay had one of the best third rounds in the field, and it pushed his score to 11-under par 201. The Scotsman is in good position to contend for his second European Tour title; he won the South African Open in 2010.
"There were plenty of chances out there, but as always my plan was just to play the golf course, not the other people out there," Ramsay said. "If someone started making loads of birdies and was running away with the tournament, I would still have just stuck to my plan."
Ramsay's countryman Paul Lawrie, last week's winner at the Johnnie Walker Championship, carded a 3-under 67 and shares second place with Englishman Danny Willett (68) at minus-10.
Second-round leader Julien Quesne shot even-par 70 and holds fourth place at 9-under 203.
Ramsay charged up the leaderboard thanks to an exceptional round that included no bogeys. He began with a birdie, then ran off two in a row from the fourth to reach minus-8.
He made back-to-back birdies again after making the turn, and rolled in a sixth and final birdie at the 15th.
Lawrie's round was much more eventful. He began it with an eagle and birdie, but bogeyed three and five to fall back to minus-8. However, he wrapped up his front nine with three consecutive birdies, and another at the 12th put him at minus-12 and ahead of the field.
But a double-bogey at 14 knocked him from his first-place perch, and he parred out from there.
Like Lawrie, Willett opened with an eagle at the par-5 first, but bogeyed the next hole.
Several more bogeys on the back nine dropped Willett's score to minus-8, but he closed with back-to-back birdies to climb into a share of second.
On Friday, first-round leader Gregory Bourdy tumbled down the leaderboard thanks to a round of 4-over par. But Quesne managed to avoid that kind of disastrous day, even though he did not put together a remarkable round.
The Frenchman had an up-and-down third round, which included six birdies and six bogeys. All of it kept him at the same score, but he is still in contention heading into Sunday.
Behind Quesne sit three players tied for fifth at 8-under 204 -- Mathias Gronberg (65), Jamie Donaldson (66) and Jaco Van Zyl (67).
NOTES: Chris Wood withdrew Saturday...Lawrie will aim for his third title of 2012 on Sunday. He also won the Qatar Masters early in the season...The Netherlands' Joost Luiten had the best round of the day, a 7-under 63. He is tied for eighth at minus-7.