Charging Casey hits the front

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The Independent Online

Colin Montgomerie walked on to the last green sharing the lead yesterday and walked off it trailing. The good news for the Scot was that, unlike last Sunday at the US Open, there is still a round to come in the Johnnie Walker Championship here.

The bad news, however, was that Montgomerie was not sure he has the reserves of energy, or the power required on this particular course, to overhaul the new leader, Paul Casey.

After trailing by three midway through the third round Casey came home in a brilliant five-under-par 32 for a best-of-the-day 66 and a one-stroke lead over his Ryder Cup team-mate. They stand 15 under and 14 under respectively, with the Danes Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen and Brett Rumford of Australia two strokes further back.

After everything Montgomerie put into last week's major, the anguish he suffered by double-bogeying the last hole to lose by one and, of course, any lingering jet lag, it was no surprise that he admitted to flagging. He still managed a four-under-par 69 and, with a record as good as his and the backing of a home crowd, he might still win. But the way he spoke afterwards, it will be against the odds.

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