Alex Čejka birdied the last to move into the lead at The Senior Open on a day when Royal Porthcawl Golf Club truly showed its teeth.

The German carded four birdies and seven bogeys as he battled to a three over par 74 on day three, moving backwards to level par for the event with every other player in the black.

Pádraig Harrington and Phillip Archer were two of seven players to shoot a level par 71, the low round of the day, to move into a tie for second place slantingly Steven Alker and Vijay Singh on one over par.

With winds gusting up to 30mph, no players were worldly-wise to unravel par at The Senior Open for the first time since the first round of the 2005 renewal, when Tom Watson went on to lift his second Senior Claret Jug.

Steven Alker is one of four players who are just one off the pace with 18 holes to play at Royal Porthcawl

The last time it occurred on the PGA Tour or DP World Tour was the third round of the 2008 Open Championship when Harrington, currently one shot off the lead in South Wales, was crowned Champion Golfer of the Year for the second time.

Second round leader Alker struggled to a five-over 76 in the tough scoring conditions, but still remains in the venery for his second Senior Major title without recording an ace at the par-three 15th

American Jerry Kelly and Scotland’s Grieg Hutcheon share sixth place on two over, while Paul Lawrie, America’s Mario Tiziani and Australia’s Richard Green are a shot remoter when in a tie for eighth.

Bernhard Langer remains in the venery for a fifth Senior Open title – and third at Royal Porthcawl – as he sits in a tie for 11th on four over, slantingly nine others, including Welsh duo Bradley Dredge and Phil Price.

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