This time of year, a two-time Grand Slam winner and former World No. 1 like Martin Kaymer would have expected himself to be in the US taking part in the lucrative FedEx Cup series.
Instead, Kaymer fell short of the series’ most-recent cut, sending him to Parco Reale di Monza this week for the Italian Open, which is suddenly seeming like a good thing after his 7-under 65 on Saturday got him into a tie for first place.
The 30-year-old Kaymer fired four straight birdies to start the round, and wound up with eight on the day to reach 17-under for the tournament, tying him for the lead with Sweden’s Jens Fahrbring and France’s Romain Wattel.
Fahbring retained the lead the took on Friday with a 64 by adding a 4-under 68. After hitting just one birdie in each of his first two rounds, Fahbring had three on Saturday, but overcame them with seven birdies.
Wattel had his second straight 66 to move up one spot into a tie for the lead. Just 1-over through the first three holes, Wattel close nicely, with an eagle and three birdies between holes 13 and17.
The trio have a 3-stroke lead over another trio, which includes Bernd Wiesberger. Day 1 leader Nicolas Colsaerts struggled to his second straight 70 and fell seven spots to No. 10.
In all, 28 players are at least 10 strokes under par.