Stadler weathers storm, leads by 4

Kevin Stadler overcame back problems and windy, wet weather to shoot 1-over-par 72 while stretching his lead to four strokes over Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Victor Riu of France heading to the final round of the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National in Versailles, France.

The 34-year-old Stadler, a graduate of USC who took the lead by opening with rounds of 64-68, made his only birdie on the 10th hole, but had only two bogeys and avoided the big numbers like the double-bogey 7 he took on the last hole of his second round.

“It’s a little tight,” Stadler, whose only PGA Tour victory came this year in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, said of his back. “It’s been a little out of whack all week. Luckily, it didn’t give me a whole lot of trouble the first couple of days, but it today it turned up a bit. I’m still able to swing, so should be fine.
“I got about what I deserved out of my game today. I didn’t play that great, made a whole lot of pars and did not have nearly as many looks (for birdie) as I had the last couple days, but you can’t expect to play that well for four days in a row. I knew I really didn’t have to do anything crazy today.”

Riu moved into a tie for the lead with Stadler by carding two birdies on the front nine, but fell back with six bogeys on the back nine while shooting 73, and Jaidee climbed into contention with his second straight 69.

Martin Kaymer of Germany, the Players and U.S. Open champion, had a 70 and was six shots back in solo fourth, while defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland struggled to a 73 and was eight strokes off the pace in a tie for seventh.

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