Monty fades as Sauers leads

Colin Montgomerie dropped off the pace in the US Senior Open after struggling to a three-over-par 74 in the third round at Oak Tree National.

The 51-year-old Scot, who won the Senior PGA Championship earlier this year, led by one shot at the halfway stage after taking a command with a 65 in the opening round.

Montgomerie began the third round strongly with birdies at the first and third but failed to build on his good start and bogeys at the fifth, seventh, 10th, 13th and 14th saw him slip down the leaderboard.

He stopped the rot with a birdie at the 15th but a bogey on the 18th left him on three-under 210 and four shots behind leader Gene Sauers.

American Sauers, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, surged three shots clear of the field with birdies at the 16th and 18th for a three-under 68 in oppressive heat in Edmond.

The 51-year-old posted a seven-under total of 206, while his compatriot Scott Dunlap (72) and German Bernhard Langer (71) share second place on four under.

American duo Marco Dawson (69) and Jeff Sluman (72) are both on two under along with Fiji's Vijay Singh (71).