Dredge races clear in Munich

Reuters - Sat, 26 Jun 18:52:00 2010

Britain's Bradley Dredge will take a three-shot lead into the BMW International Open final round after firing a faultless, five-under-par 67 at Eichenried in Munich.

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The 36-year-old, who has led from day one, is likely to have a formidable opponent on Sunday after finishing with an 18-under aggregate of 198.

Last year's World Match Play champion Ross Fisher (66) of Britain was sharing second place with Irish rookie Simon Thornton (67).

Paul Lawrie (68), the 1999 Open champion, was fourth on 202.

Dredge's career has stuttered even though he has achieved two victories, both with eight-shot winning margins, the last at the European Masters four years ago.

Title chances have come thick and fast and all but two have ended in disappointment, with the Welshman having chalked up a string of second places.

Earlier this year he led for three rounds of the Qatar Masters but had to settle for joint fifth position.

"I'll have to know when to attack and when to play sensibly and I've got to see how he (Fisher) is doing," Dredge said. "There's sure to be somebody coming at me."

A pitch-in at the first sparked a run of three birdies in the opening five holes which helped keep alive his dream of making his Ryder Cup debut on home soil at Celtic Manor in October.

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie (72) limped off the 18th green after birdying the final two holes as he closed on 210, six-under.

The eight-times European number one has a calf muscle tear in his left leg but has vowed to finish here and play the next three events, including his 21st consecutive appearance in the British Open at St Andrews next month.

"I'm in quite a state, got tape on my leg, my back," said the 47-year-old Briton. "It's old age, wear and tear.

"I want to play the next three weeks even though I've felt like pulling out every hour. I thought the dentist was bad ..."

Montgomerie is comforting himself with the knowledge none of the courses he will play over the next month are hilly.

"There's only one hill to climb at St Andrews and that's to cross the Swilcan Bridge," he said.

Montgomerie was second behind Tiger Woods at the 2005 Open, the last time the Major was held at the Old Course.

Reuters

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