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Fisher reels in leader Casey with birdie surge at Wentworth

BRITISH pair Paul Casey and Ross Fisher were locked in a battle royal for the title midway through the BMW PGA Championship final round in Virginia Water, England, yesterday.

World No. 7 Casey started the day three strokes clear of the field but his challenge faltered when he dropped a stroke at the par-four first hole in glorious sunshine at Wentworth.

Birdies at the third and fourth helped him to restore his three-stroke overnight lead before another error at the eighth meant he reached the turn in level-par 35 to stand at 13-under overall.

While Casey was stuck in neutral, European Open champion Fisher found top gear to string together five birdies in seven holes and join his fellow Englishman at the top of the leaderboard.

His fifth birdie arrived at the par-three 10th where he coolly slotted home a 40-foot putt.

In third place on 12-under was Casey's playing partner Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark. Holder Miguel Angel Jimenez recorded only the second albatross since the tournament's inception in 1955.

The Spaniard emulated Swede Pierre Fulke's feat at the 12th in 1994 when he used a six-iron to hole out from 205 yards for a spectacular two at the par-five fourth.

Jimenez was on level-par through 16 holes.

Bright pink outfit

American John Daly sported a bright pink outfit in a gesture of support for world No. 2 Phil Mickelson's wife Amy, who was this week diagnosed with breast cancer.

Daly ended his campaign with a 75 for 296, eight over.

In Irving, Texas, Rory Sabbatini and John Mallinger remained tied for the lead after the third round at the Byron Nelson Championship on Saturday.

South African Sabbatini and American Mallinger took advantage of ideal scoring conditions to card 65s at the Four Seasons TPC.

They were at 13-under 197, two strokes ahead of Englishman Brian Davis (66) and Americans Dustin Johnson (66) and D A Points (65).

Sabbatini fell behind early, before making his move with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch mid-round.

"I never really got anything going until No. 5, where my eight-iron lipped out of the hole," he told reporters. "That got things going for the round.

"The putter was working today. I made a lot of key par saves too."

Mallinger was surprised that his score was not good enough to take the sole lead.

"If someone would have told me I was going to shoot 65 and still be tied for the lead, I would have said they were crazy, but there were some opportunities out there," said Mallinger, who tied for third at The Players Championship two weeks ago.


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