Karlsson back on top ahead of British Masters finale

Updated: 

Robert Karlsson has not won a European Tour event since 2010 but sits one shot clear at the top of the British Masters leaderboard at the end of day three.

The 48-year-old is an 11-time winner on the Tour - claiming his first title back in 1995 - but has not sampled success since he triumphed at the Dubai World Championship seven years ago.

On that occasion, Karlsson - 12 under at Close House - had to come through a play-off against Ian Poulter, who is among a group of five players one shot adrift of the Swede, along with Graeme Storm, Paul Dunne, Richie Ramsay and overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton.

A bogey on the eighth from Karlsson was immediately followed by an eagle before the turn, and two birdies on the back nine were enough to earn a move to the summit.

"Every time you play well, every time you're up in contention at tournaments, it's what we all practise for and what we all play for," Karlsson is quoted as saying by the European Tour website.

"It's fantastic to play here. It's a great crowd and I'm very, very happy to be in the last group. It's a long time since I was there.

"I didn't hit the ball very good so I put myself in a lot of trouble. But I managed to keep it together very nicely and I'm very proud of the way I scored in the end. So it was good."

Rory McIlroy went to six under for the day to join Chris Hanson, Shane Lowry, George Coetzee and the excellent David Lingmerth - who produced the best round of the week on Saturday, going round in 62 - on 10 under.

Tournament host Lee Westwood briefly flirted with the lead until his round was undone by back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14, as well as a third at 18 for good measure, leaving him in a tie for 12th.