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Kaymer claims French Open lead as Canizares crumbles

Martin Kaymer, left, and Alejandro Canizares are poised for a final-round showdown at the French Open.
Martin Kaymer, left, and Alejandro Canizares are poised for a final-round showdown at the French Open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Martin Kaymer in pole position to defend his title after carding level-par 71 on Saturday
  • German leads French Open by one shot after Alejandro Canizares suffers late lapses
  • Halfway leader twice hits water hazards for two double-bogeys to be tied for second
  • England's Steve Webster is also on 205 after carding 70 in his third round in Paris
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(CNN) -- Defending champion Martin Kaymer will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the French Open after Alejandro Canizares suffered a nightmare finish to Saturday's rain-delayed third round.

Spanish golfer Canizares, the halfway leader, was three clear going into the final three holes at Le Golf National in Paris, but twice found the water hazards.

A bogey at the par-three 16th and another at the par-four 18th saw him finish the day tied for second with England's Steve Webster on eight-under-par 205 after carding a two-over 73.

Kaymer made two birdies and two bogeys on his front nine after the morning's play was washed out by rain, and then came home in nine pars for a level 71.

"You want to play well to get into the lead and I didn't play well, to be honest," the German told the European Tour website.

"I hit a lot of bad iron shots, but I kept it together. This is one of the biggest tournaments we have on the European Tour. To win it once is a big once, but to win it twice would be awesome."

Canizares needs to win the tournament to qualify for this month's British Open and appear at his first major event.

Webster played at the 1995 British Open, when he was top amateur ahead of Tiger Woods.

A group of six players were tied for third place on 206, including world No. 7 Luke Donald (67), veteran Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez (66) and first-round leader Robert-Jan Derksen (72).

World No. 10 Rory McIlroy was tied for 12th on 208 after a four-birdie 69, while third-ranked Lee Westwood was in a group two shots back along with No. 8 Ian Poulter as both Englishmen carded 71.

French veteran Jean Van De Velde was unable to reproduce the form of his opening 66 as he followed up his second-round 76 with a 74 to be in a group tied for 62nd along with Italian teen prodigy Matteo Manassero (76).