Golf: Lyle in range of leaders

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The Independent Online
COLIN MONTGOMERIE was on course for his first victory in 13 months when bad light brought an end to play in the third round of the Canon European Masters in Crans-sur-Sierre yesterday. He will go out this morning to play the last three holes of the round six shots ahead of the field.

Sandy Lyle came into the title picture for the first time with a completed round of 66, including an eagle two on the 301-yard seventh hole, which left him nine under par.

The third day is the one that Montgomerie fears most - it has cost him five title chances since the start of May. The 29-year-old Scot was overnight leader following a first-round 63 and a 70 on Friday which included five closing birdies in the middle of a blizzard. Six hours were lost to the weather on Friday and the mopping-up operation meant another 75-minute delay yesterday morning.

After two rounds Montgomerie had led by one from the Italian Giuseppe Cali, with Mats Lanner and Per-Ulrik Johansson, of Sweden, and the 45-year-old Spaniard, Jose-Maria Canizares, joint third on eight under, three behind Montgomerie. Aberdeen's Peter Smith, the Frenchman Thomas Levet and another Spaniard, Jose Rivero, all started their third rounds on seven under.