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(Reuters) - Bernhard Langer survived a poor start and a strong challenge from Kenny Perry to stretch his lead to three shots after Saturday's third round of the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The 56-year-old German, seeking his third major title on the over-50s Champions Tour, recovered from two bogeys in the first five holes with a superb display of putting on the back nine to fire a four-under-par 66 at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
Langer, who had been two strokes in front overnight, reeled off four birdies in five holes from the 12th to regain control of the tournament before ending the day with a 15-under total of 195.
American Perry, who won last year's Senior Players Championship by two shots at Fox Chapel, was alone in second at 12 under after carding a sizzling 65 that included an eagle at the par-five second and six birdies.
Perry, who clinched his third consecutive major on the Champions Tour with victory at the Regions Tradition in May, had been one ahead with four holes to play but slipped back with a bogey at the 16th before the fast-finishing Langer took charge.
Left-hander Russ Cochran (63) and fellow Americans Joe Durant (67) and Bill Glasson (68) were tied for third at 11 under in the third of the year's five senior major championships.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry