Kaymer in touching distance of first victory in seven years

Martin Kaymer is within touching distance of a first victory since winning the 2014 U.S. Open by eight shots, as the German enters the final round of the Austrian Golf Open in a share of the lead alongside Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares.

The former World Number One carded a third round 69 to move to nine under where he joined the leader from each of the opening two days, two-time European Tour winner Cañizares – who is also hoping to bridge a gap of seven years since his last title.

For two-time Major winner Kaymer, who won the Austrian Amateur Open in 2003, victory would mean a 12th European Tour title and an almighty push in the direction of the coveted top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking – it could move him as high as 63rd.

“Mentally I’m really excited about the final round, it really doesn’t matter what happens – if you win or not – it’s just nice to be in that position,” said Kaymer. “Last year I had a couple of chances which I didn’t use. More often as you get into that position I think you get more comfortable and then it’s just a matter of time. After three days I think I’m happy to go out and see what happens.

Cañizares signed for a two under 70 which included two double bogeys and six birdies to maintain his hopes of a wire-to-wire victory.

“I just need to keep doing what I’m doing,” said the Spaniard. “I’m hitting my tee shots really well and my second shots are just as good so I just need to keep calm, keep the head on my shoulders and just play my golf.”

Maximilian Kieffer of Germany sat in second spot on his own after a four under 68 moved him to within one stroke of the lead on eight under par, while American John Catlin was a shot further back after a third round 71.