Golf: Aussie Hend snatches lead at European Masters

Scott Hend of Australia in action at  the Omega European Masters Golf Tournament.
Scott Hend of Australia in action at the Omega European Masters Golf Tournament.PHOTO: EPA

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AFP) - Australia's Scott Hend will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the European Masters in Switzerland after recording a five-under-par 65 on Saturday (Sept 3).

Hend is chasing a second title on the European Tour this season after victory in Thailand in March, and the 43-year-old could have been even more handily placed if not for a bogey on the final hole.

He made six birdies in his third round, including three in a row just before the turn, to sit on 13-under overall with the lone blemish coming at the 18th as Alex Noren turned up the pressure.

"I played really nice golf," Hend told Sky Sports.

"I left a few shots out there but made a couple of par saves which made up for it. It was unfortunate on 18 when my ball managed to run between the bunkers down the cart path.

"One shot clear is better than none. I just want to play solid golf again and hopefully hole some more putts and see where we end up."

Swede Noren, winner of July's Scottish Open, carded a 66 boosted by three birdies over his last five holes to set up an intriguing final day at the Crans-sur-Sierre course in the Swiss Alps.

Joint-overnight leader Richard Bland shot a steady 69 to leave the Englishman three shots behind the leader, while compatriot Andrew Johnston is another stroke back alongside French rookie Romain Langasque, following a two-under 68.

Danny Willett's hopes of defending his title all but evaporated after he again struggled with inconsistency, mixing five birdies with as many bogeys in an even-par round of 70. He is three-under for the tournament.