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McGowan closes on maiden European Tour win

  • Story Highlights
  • Ross McGowan on course to claim his maiden European Tour victory in Perth
  • The Englishman cards 65 to tie with compatriot John Bickerton after 54 holes
  • Four players two shots behind going into final day of Johnnie Walker Classic
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(CNN) -- Ross McGowan put himself in a strong position to claim his first win on the European Tour after shooting a seven-under-par 65 to join English compatriot John Bickerton in a tie for the lead after the third round of the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.

McGowan's previous best result was fifth in the 2007 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

McGowan's previous best result was fifth in the 2007 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

The 26-year-old, whose best previous result on the Tour was fifth at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in late 2007, fired seven birdies to move onto 14-under-par at The Vines Resort and Country Club.

McGowan, the 2006 English amateur champion, began the day on seven-under, three shots behind overnight co-leaders Damien McGrane of Ireland and American Anthony Kang, and was out in 34 after birdies on the sixth and ninth.

He picked up five more on the back nine including back-to-back birdies on the last two holes to finish his day with a share of the lead.

Bickerton was eight-under after two rounds and parred his first six holes on Saturday before rolling in a 12-foot putt for his first birdie of the day on the seventh hole.

It helped to ignite the 39-year-old, who birdied six of the last 12 holes, for a six-under 66 that put him in contention for his first Tour win since 2007.

The English pair will enter the final round with a two-stroke advantage over a group of four players, Raphael Jacquelin of France (66), Chile's Felipe Aguilar (68), Australian Terry Pilkadaris (68) and New Zealand amateur Danny Lee (69).

Spain's Ignacio Garrido bogeyed his final hole to card a 70 which dropped him into a tie for seventh on 11-under with Korea's Bae Sang-Moon (65), Australian Michael Sim (67), Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen (69) and Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan (70).

Ireland's Peter Lawrie had a share of the lead midway through the round but a double bogey on the 16th saw him finish with a 69 as he joined compatriot McGrane (72), Gareth Maybin (68) and three others on 10-under-par.

Lee Westwood is in contention on nine-under after carding a 68 that included an eagle, five birdies and a double bogey while Colin Montgomerie is seven-under after a level par 72.

Anthony Kim's hopes of mounting a challenge suffered a severe setback when the world number 11 became the second player in two days after Westwood to play a quadruple-bogey nine on the par-five third during his round of 75 that put him on five under.

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