BERNHARD Langer moved closer to his second Senior British Open title on Saturday, shooting a 3-under 68 at Royal Porthcawl for a 14-under 199 and an eight-stroke lead.
Langer won the title at Carnoustie in 2010 but lost in a playoff at Royal Birkdale last year. He also led going into the final round at Turnberry in 2012, only to implode on the final hole.
That seems unlikely to happen again on Sunday given the German's three-day master class on the sun-kissed South Wales links with earlier rounds of 65 and 66.
Langer had to settle for his third round's fourth birdie on the 18th after missing an eagle chance from 10 feet. He dropped his only shot on the par-4 10th.
"I played very nicely, got off to a good start ... Then I maybe played a little safe for a couple of holes," Langer said.
"I can't believe how far I hit it on the last."
Canadian Rick Gibson was Langer's nearest challenger on 6-under 207 after a 66, hitting back with six birdies after dropping a shot at the first. Bob Tway of the United States was third, a further stroke back after a 68.
Americans Tom Watson and Scott Dunlap shared fourth place on 209 with England's Chris Williams, while Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, England's Barry Lane and Fred Couples of the United States were tied for seventh on 210.
Montgomerie, bidding for his third successive senior major, matched Langer's 32 over the front nine but then slipped to a 4-over 40 coming home.
"Bernhard's the best player out here and he's proving it," said Montgomerie. "I had a horrendous back nine, now the best I can do is second."
New Zealand's Greg Turner recorded the first ace of the week when he holed his 9-iron tee shot at the 165-yard 15th on his way to a 66.
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