Sterne & McDowell In Front Heading into Sunday at French Open

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and South African Richard Sterne are tied for the 54-hole lead in the French Open. The European Tour event began Thursday on the tough Albatross course at Le Golf National in Paris.

McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, carded a 1-under 70 Saturday while Sterne had an even-par 71. The two stand at 5-under 208. One stroke back are Australia's Richard Green (70), Austria's Berndt Wiesberger (68) and England's David Howell (69).

McDowell, who now resides in Florida, will be looking for his second victory of the year in Europe following his win in May's Volvo World Match Play Championship.

"I couldn't have asked for a better position to be going into the last round," he told reporters. "The putter just has not quite got revved up to top gear yet, but hopefully that's waiting for tomorrow.

"I played very nicely and continued on from where I left off on Thursday and Friday,"

Sharing sixth at 210 are Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen (73) and England's Simon Dyson (73). Eight players are tied for eighth at 211.

Italy's Francesco Molinari carded the day's low round, a 4-under 67 and is at 212 heading into Sunday.

England's Ian Poulter, a 12-time winner on the European Tour, shot a two under 69 and is five shots off the pace.

The top-ranked player in the field, No. 5 Matt Kuchar of the U.S., had a 73 and is 10 strokes behind the leaders.

"Below-average golf for me," said Kuchar, who is making his French Open debut and brought his family along for the tournament a brief vacation in advance of golf's next major, the Open Championship at Muirfield in two weeks. "I haven't been as sharp as I had hoped to be, but I still enjoyed my stay here."

He hopes he can play a little better Sunday, "just have a good round, try to get on some better form. Then, hopefully carry some momentum into the British Open."

For all the scores, visit