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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 May 2006, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Bjorn & Casey stake Irish claim
Thomas Bjorn
GB&I unless stated
-5 T Bjorn (Den), P Casey, A Wall
-4 D Clarke, R Fisher, P Hedblom (Swe)
-3 J Lyle (Aus)
-2 P Archer, R-J Derksen (Ned), P Harrington, R Karlsson (Swe), P Lawrie, I Poulter, T Whitehouse, N Colsaerts (Bel)
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Englishmen Paul Casey and Anthony Wall held a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Irish Open at Carton House.

Bjorn eagled 18 to add a 67 to rounds of 78 and 66, while Casey and Wall shot 68 and 70 respectively for five under.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke, England's Ross Fisher and Swede Pete Hedblom were tied on four under.

But Colin Montgomerie missed his seventh cut of the season when the weather-hit round two finished.

Bjorn, who squandered a four-shot lead with a final-round 86 in the European Open the last time he was in Ireland, said: "When it starts coming together for two days in a row then you at least know you're on the right track.

I've always stressed myself out over my golf
Thomas Bjorn

The Wentworth-based star also walked off the course after just six holes of the same event a year earlier, saying he was fighting "inner demons".

But he insists working with two psychologists is paying dividends.

"One is about golf (Jos Vanstiphout) and one is about other things (Jamil Qureshi)," said Bjorn.

"I've realised over the years that the way I am off the course is probably the way I should be more on the course. I'm much more relaxed off the course than I am on it. I've always stressed myself out over my golf.

"I never take it home with me, if you ask my wife she will say I probably don't discuss my golf enough at home. I could probably get rid of some things if I did."

Casey, with a win and four other top-10 places already this season, led the British Masters last week after three rounds before slipping to fifth after finding water at The Belfry.

I was too busy watching the rugby and just completely went blank
Darren Clarke

"There's no water on the 10th here, that's great," said six-time European Tour winner Casey.

"I always try and learn something and I hope that was the case last week."

Wall, who holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the last, is looking to add to his sole success, the 2000 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Clarke claimed he missed out on a share of the lead when he missed a tap-in birdie putt on the 18th while watching the end of Irish province Munster's 23-19 Heineken Cup final win over Biarritz on a big screen.

"I was too busy watching the rugby and just completely went blank," admitted the Ulsterman, who shot 67.

Twenty eight players were separated by five shots with one round left in Ireland.

Montgomerie, the European Order of Merit champion, carded a 72 before play was suspended on Friday but had to wait to Saturday learn if his score of five over was good enough.

Unfortunately for the 42-year-old Scot, who designed the course, the cut was set at four over and also caught out Ryder Cup hopeful Paul Broadhurst.


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