Prague, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) - Bradley Dredge missed tying the course record by one stroke, but a 6-under 66 in Saturday's third round was good enough to vault him into the lead heading into the final day at the Czech Masters.
Dredge finished 54 holes at 12-under-par 204 and he holds a 2-shot lead over fellow Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Soren Kjeldsen at Albatross Golf Resort.
The last time Dredge held a 54-hole lead was last week at the Made in Denmark, but he could not hold off Marc Warren, who went on to win the event. Dredge settled for a runner-up finish and he is looking for his third career victory on tour this week.
"Last week was huge for me. I didn't win and I would have loved to have won but Marc (Warren) played fantastic in the last round I thought and handled himself really well and totally outplayed me. I didn't play well enough," Dredge said. "Still, I felt as though I played some good golf and I took a lot of confidence from it. I was hoping to bring it here with me this week and I have so far."
Donaldson, a Ryder Cup hopeful who held the first- and second-round leads, settled for a 1-under 71 on Saturday and he is tied for second at 10-under 206 with Kjeldsen (68).
Donaldson currently holds the next-to-last spot on the world points list for the European Ryder Cup team and a win this week would secure him a spot on the team.
Gregory Bourdy sits alone in fourth place at minus-9 following a 71. Merrick Bremner (71) and Stephen Gallacher (71) are right behind him at 8-under 208, while David Lipsky (69), Paul Waring (70) and Garrick Porteous (72) are another shot back at minus-7.
Beginning the day three shots behind Donaldson, Dredge was rather quiet at the start of his round as he rolled in four straight pars. Dredge started his move up the leaderboard with a birdie at five and followed that up with three more pars heading to the ninth hole.
Dredge then started a stretch of three birdies in four holes from No. 9, with a par coming at No. 10. Following another par at 13, Dredge hit two great approach shots at 14 and 15, both of which led to back-to-back gains.
Heading to the 18th hole a minus-6 for the day and needing a birdie to tie the course record, Dredge put his approach on the par-4 to within about eight feet. He failed to covert his birdie try, however, and Dredge settled for a 66 and a 2-shot lead.
"It wasn't my best ball striking round but it was a good scoring round, that's for sure," said Dredge. "I lost my card at the end of 2012 and had a few health problems to sort out. This year my category is quite low, so when I do play I've got to go out and play well."
Donaldson exploded out of the gate when he drained a 6-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 first. He quickly got to 3-under for the day with a birdie at the fourth, but Donaldson gave that shot right back with a bogey at the fifth.
The 38-year-old responded with a birdie two holes later on No. 7, and at the time Donaldson held a 4-shot lead over the rest of the field.
That lead quickly deteriorated when Donaldson made a mess of the par-4 eighth hole and he was forced to settle for double-bogey. Donaldson got one of those back with a gain at nine, making the turn at minus-2 for the day.
After back-to-back pars at 10 and 11, Donaldson traded a birdie at 12 with a bogey at 13. One shot behind Dredge, Donaldson rattled off four straight pars from 14 before dropping two shots back with a bogey at the last.
Kjeldsen had a strong front nine with back-to-back gains at two and three to go along with another birdie on nine. After making the turn with two straight pars, Kjeldsen made another pair of birdies at 12 and 13. His lone blemish came at the 15th hole, which Kjeldsen bogeyed to fall to 10-under. He parred the final three holes to end there.
NOTES: Dredge's last victory came back in 2006 when he won the Omega European Masters ... Donaldson has five top-10 finishes on tour this season and his last win came at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship last year ... Kjeldsen has not won since the 2009 Open de Andalucia and he does not have a top-10 finish this season ... Dredge is currently riding a streak of 46 straight holes without a bogey, with his first and only one of the week coming at the eighth hole in the first round.