Graeme McDowell keeps himself six off the lead at the British Masters

Northern Irishman leads an Irish challenge featuring Shane Lowry and Paul McGinley

Graeme McDowell is six shots off the pace after day three of the British Masters.

The Northern Irishman has put himself on 10-under par.

He started off on 6-under at the start of play in a virtually flawless round which saw him card just one bogey across the 18 holes.

The front nine was his strongest suit as he managed birdies on the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th holes.

The back nine was more balanced as a birdie on the 10th was cancelled out by a bogey on the 18th.

Leading the way is Sweden's Alex Noren 16-under par, having picked up six shots in his third round.

Noren holds a three-shot lead with England's Richard Bland on 13-under.

There is a four-way tie for third, followed by a two-person tie for 7th which also features England's Lee Westwood.

Of the other Irish challengers in action, Shane Lowry is 8 under par with Paul McGinley 6-under.

Lowry is in a tie for 15th and picked up four shots to card a 67.

Three birdies and a bogey on the front nine were matched by the same tally on the back nine.

McGinley is in a tie for 27th and only picked up one shot in Round 3.

After a bogey on the front nine, he then managed birdies on the 10th and 12th.

Prior to his third round, the 2014 European Ryder Cup captain had spoken about increasing his playing commitments.

"So I've kind of been a part-time golfer the last few years. But last month I stepped it up a little bit. I played in Italy and in Dunhill, even though I've missed the cuts it was more competitive golf and I got to practice in between. It bore fruit this week with two good rounds," he said.

Michael Hoey is not involved in the third round having missed the cut after the opening two rounds.