Stadler Positioned for Wire-to-Wire Win in France

Kevin Stadler's first trip to France could turn out to be magnifique as the 34-year-old American has forged a comfortable lead in the Alstom Open de France. The European Tour event is being played at Le Golf National in Paris.

Stadler began with a 7-under 64 to take the 18-hole lead before adding a 68 Friday to go three strokes ahead of Frenchman Victor Riu.

Stadler, the son of 19882 Masters' champion Craig Stadler, wasn't spectacular Saturday, posting one birdie and two bogeys for a 72 on the par-71 course.

Stadler stands at 9-under 204 and enters Sunday with a four-stroke lead over Riu (73) and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, who carded a 69.

For the second day in a row the conditions were cool and drizzly in Paris, causing the scores to soar. Sunday's forecast looks even worse as it calls for an 80 percent chance of rain and a high of 68 degrees.

Moving into fourth at 3-under 210 was Germany's Martin Kaymer. The reigning U.S. Open champion missed the cut in last week's BMW International Open in his native Germany. But the 29-year-old from Dusseldorf opened with a 72 in Paris and posted a 68 and 70 to move up the leaderboard.

Sitting at 2-under 211 are England's Matthew Baldwin (70) and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger (71).

The only other players under par through 54 holes - in a tie for seventh at 1-under 212 - are Sweden's Robert Karlsson (70), Ireland's Damien McGrane (72), England's Mark Foster (73) and Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey and Graeme McDowell, who each shot 73.

McDowell is the defending champion in the tournament.

Just three players - Jaidee, Frenchman Julien Quesne (68) and Australian Wade Ormsby (69) - broke 70 Saturday at the difficult Le Golf National.

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