Kevin Stadler overcame a late stumble to shoot 3-under-par 68 and take a three-stroke lead over Victor Riu of France midway through the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National in Versailles, France.
Stadler, who opened with a bogey-free 64, held a five-stroke lead until hitting his approach shot on his final hole of the day, No. 9, into high grass on a ridge left of the green en route to a double-bogey 7.
“I just tried to get a little too much out of it,” Stadler, the USC grad, said of his hiccup on the final hole. “I didn’t have the best of lies and had to hit the shot perfectly. I got a little too steep on it and it came off the hosel and into the deep stuff.
“It was not exactly how I planned to finish the day, but overall it was another good day so it’s all good. I putted brilliantly the first couple of days. I got a little sloppy on my final nine today, but other than that struck the ball very well, had a lot of chances and rolled in a lot of nice putts.”
Riu made a bogey on the final hole to finish with 67, and Marcel Siem of Germany was five shots back in third after a 72.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell posted a 69 and was seven shots behind in a tie for fourth, while U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer of Germany came in with a 68 and was another stroke behind in a tie for seventh.