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Echenique leads as Monty mounts charge

  • Story Highlights
  • Rafa Echenique takes one-shot lead going into final round of French Open
  • Martin Kaymer of German in second place at Le Golf National
  • European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie shoots superb round of 65
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(CNN) -- Rafa Echenique of Argentina holds a slender one-shot lead over Germany's Martin Kaymer going into the final round of the French Open with European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie also in title contention.

Third round leader Echenique tees off at Le Golf National.

Third round leader Echenique tees off at Le Golf National.

Montgomerie, runner-up at Le Golf National near Paris last year, has not had a top-10 finish since, but fired a third round 65 to be six back.

Ian Poulter, warming up for another tilt at the British Open where he was second to Padraig Harrington last year, is also challenging after a 66 to be five back.

Monty is pleased to be running into form into form ahead of the third major of the season and believes the course at Turnberry gives him a chance with many writing off his chances of ever claiming a mamor.

"God no -- I was eighth there in 1994 and The (British) Open gives me my best opportunity if it's fast-running," he told Press Association after his round which included a 97-yard pitch into the sixth hole for an eagle two.

But he will have his work cut out to catch the in-form Echenique, who opened with rounds of 65 and 67 and followed up with a 70 to be 11-under overall on the Albatross course.

Echenique, who finished second at the BMW Open in Munich last week with a spectacular albatross two of his own on the final hole, is chasing a first European Tour victory.

"Just a little nervous today," Echenique told the official European Tour Web site www.europeantour.com.

Paul Waring of England climbed to third from seventh with a three-under 68 to trail by two shots, one ahead of his compatriot Seve Benson, who is named after the Spanish legend Seve Ballesteros.

Benson shares fourth alongside Australian left-hander Richard Green and Swede Peter Hanson.

Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood also remains in the hunt after a 70 to be four shots behind.

Kaymer, who opened up with a couse record-equaling 62 on Thursday, stayed firmly in the hunt with a two-under 69.

"There were a lot of very difficult pins today," he said.

The $5.65 million tournament has attracted a strong field ahead the British Open in two weeks time, but lost its star attraction when Harrington missed the cut after a second round 75, his fifth straight missed cut.

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