GOLF: Woosnam in contention for first title in two years

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Ian Woosnam has his sights set on a first European Tour victory in almost two years in the pounds 600,000 Novotel Perrier Open de France.

The Welshman, whose last title came in the Volvo PGA Championship in 1997, scored a third-round 66 to find himself just three shots off the pace at the end of play as the later starters failed to pull away from the chasing pack. France's Marc Farry, overnight leader Greg Turner of New Zealand and South African Retief Goosen were tied at 11 under at the top of the leaderboard with Bristol's Andrew Sherborne just a stroke behind. Farry, the 39-year-old Parisian, held a two-shot cushion with two holes to play but wayward approaches cost him shots at the final two holes and left Woosnam in with a real shout of claiming the pounds 100,000 first prize. "I was thinking about winning when I went out in 30 and thought if I could play the back nine in four under I wouldn't be far away," said the 41- year-old. In fact he could only manage level par after bogeys on the 12th and 13th holes but a birdie finish gave him renewed hope. "I don't think that will be too far away," said Woosnam. "The greens aren't as good on the back nine and it's easy to miss from two feet. The guys I were playing with were doing that and it's soul destroying. If I win a tournament in the next few weeks, though, I'll be in the Ryder Cup points," said Woosnam, lying in 35th place.

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