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Bjorn leader going into last day
Thomas Bjorn takes one-shot lead over Markus Brier as he birdies last three holes on day three of Qatar Masters.
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2011 15:01 GMT

Al Jazeera's Joanna Gasiorowska reports from the Qatar Masters, as Denmark's Thomas Bjorn produces a fluent six-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead over Austrian Markus Brier after the third round.

Veteran Bjorn, who was in joint-third position overnight, finished Saturday's round with a sensational hat-trick of birdies starting on the 16th hole to set himself up for a tilt at an 11th European Tour title at the $2.5 million tournament in Doha.

Bjorn, who won the Portuguese Open last year to claim his first title in four years, took advantage of two bogeys by Brier to post a total of 205.

"When you finish a round with three birdies you have to walk off very happy," the 39-year-old Bjorn said.

"I'm feeling quite comfortable on the golf course considering it's been a while since I've been in that kind of situation."

Swede Robert Karlsson, the defending champion, was in third spot, three shots behind on 208, while South African Thomas Aiken occupied fourth position on 209.

Former winner Alvaro Quioros of Spain and England's Richard Finch were a further shot back on 210.

Brier strung together five birdies before dropping his second stroke of the day at the par-five 18th when he drove into the rough and took three more shots to reach the green.

'Never nice'

"It always leaves a sour taste in your mouth when you bogey the last, it's never nice," he said. "But I just hit a really bad shot and deserved the bad lie I had there.

"I just got a bit lazy with my shots at the end of the round but one shot back is nothing."

Bjorn spent four winless years on the European Tour after his victory at the Irish Open in 2006, but his sensational five-shot win in Portugal last year not only revived his career but also helped him become one of Colin Montgomerie's vice-captains for the Ryder Cup campaign.

South African Darren Fichardt, who was in second spot after the second round, slipped down to a tie for 11th position, after four bogeys ruined his third round.

Meanwhile Martin Kaymer, who was afforded a slim chance of becoming the new world number one after Lee Westwood failed to make the halfway cut, shot a four-under-par 68 for an aggregate score of 215.

But with Bjorn leading him by 10 shots, he will have to wait a little longer if he is to become only the second German to top the world rankings after veteran Bernhard Langer.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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