Benton Harbor, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Colin Montgomerie carded a 3-under 68 in Saturday's third round and he grabbed a 1-stroke lead at the Senior PGA Championship.
Montgomerie ended 54 holes at 7-under-par 206. He will go for not only his first Champions Tour win on Sunday, but also his first major championship title and first official win in the United States.
Bernhard Langer shot 2-under 69 and he dipped from a six-way tie for the lead into second place by himself at minus-6 at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores.
Bart Bryant and Kiyoshi Murota, who also shared the second-round lead, both shot 70 in round three. They were joined in third place at 5-under 208 by Marco Dawson, who fired a 7-under 64, the low round of the week.
John Cook posted a 3-under 68 and he jumped 16 places into a share of sixth place. He stands alongside Jay Haas (70), David Frost (69), Gary Hallberg (70) and Tom Watson (72) at 3-under 210.
Montgomerie had a steady front nine with a birdie on the second and a bogey on the seventh. He made the turn at 4-under, but caught fire on the inward nine.
The Scotsman converted back-to-back birdie efforts at 11 and 12, and those birdies gave him a 1-shot lead over four players. Montgomerie moved to minus-7 with a birdie on the 15th.
Montgomerie was one clear of Langer at that point, but dropped into a share of the lead with a bogey on the par-3 17th. Montgomerie bounced back with a birdie at the last to grab the third-round lead.
"If you play with Bernhard Langer four times in any tournament on the Champions Tour, you're doing something right. Obviously, I am. So I look forward to playing with him," Montgomerie said. "I know that he is a sort of player that doesn't make any unforced errors and gets the best out of his game. I'm similar in that way. The unforced errors don't tend to creep in that much. So it will be a good competition tomorrow on a course with the others just chasing as well. Someone of the pack is going to come out and score a good score, so you have to counteract that with your own good play."
Langer dropped a shot on the first to slip back to minus-3. After three pars in a row, he poured in birdies on the fifth and sixth. However, Langer made a mess of the seventh and walked off with a double-bogey, which dropped him back to minus-3.
The German atoned for that mistake with birdies on 10 and 11 to move to minus-5. Langer got within one of the lead thanks to a birdie on No. 15. He parred the final three holes to end one back.
"It's always fun playing with Colin and we go way back. We played many times on the European Tour, around the world and also on the Ryder Cup we were partners on a number of occasions, so we know each other's games pretty well and our caddies know each other, so it's fun being out with him," Langer said.
NOTES: Montgomerie has six runner-up finishes on U.S. soil, including one at the 1995 PGA Championship ... He would be the first Scot to win on the Champions Tour ... Langer is going for his third senior major championship title ... He won the 2010 Senior British and the 2010 U.S. Senior Open ... Defending champion Kohki Idoki shot 70 for the second straight round, and moved into a tie for 45th.