Defending champion Paul Dunne falls further behind British Masters leaders

Defending champion Paul Dunne falls further behind British Masters leaders

A double-bogey on the fourth hole has sent Paul Dunne back to level-par on day three of the British Masters.

The defending champion is eight shots behind leader Eddie Pepperell.

Dunne had birdied the first hole of his third-round. Shane Lowry is one-over after four with Padraig Harrington two-over after two.

Tournament host Justin Rose made the ideal start as he tried to force his way into contention for a second British Masters title.

Rose, who won the tournament in 2002, made the halfway cut with a shot to spare at Walton Heath to trail halfway leader Pepperell by 10 shots.

But the world number two quickly made inroads into that deficit when the third round got underway today with birdies on the 10th and 11th, his first two holes of the day.

A top-two finish on Sunday would see Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as number one in September.

Ryder Cup hero Francesco Molinari produced an even better start than Rose with birdies on the 10th, 11th and 12th taking the Open champion to one under par and inside the top 20.

Pepperell began the day with a three-shot lead and was briefly four ahead when nearest rival Matt Wallace bogeyed the opening hole, but France's Julien Guerrier birdied the par-five second to move into second place on five under.

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