Bjorn rallies for Qatar Masters lead

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, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

West Bay, Doha, Qatar - Thomas Bjorn birdied four of the last five holes Saturday to grab a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Qatar Masters.

Bjorn, a 10-time winner on the European Tour, posted a bogey-free 66 to finish 54 holes at 11-under-par 205. He has won six of the previous 15 times in which he owned at least a share of the 54-hole lead.

Second-round leader Markus Brier stumbled to a bogey on the 18th hole. He carded a three-under 69 and is alone in second at minus-10.

Defending champion Robert Karlsson shot his second straight 69 at Doha Golf Club and is third at eight-under-par 208, while Thomas Aiken (69) is one stroke further back at minus-seven.

Brier was in control until late in the round, although Bjorn started to make his push with an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-four 14th. He was two back at that point, but there were more birdies to come.

Bjorn birdied the 16th for the second day in a row, but Brier matched that birdie to remain two clear. Bjorn converted his first birdie of the week on the par-three 17th.

The 39-year-old Dane also birdied the 18th, from three feet out, to get to 11- under.

"When you finish a round with four birdies in the last five, you have to walk off very happy," Bjorn stated. "I played fantastic [Friday] to shoot that 65 and felt comfortable this morning. I'm feeling quite comfortable on the golf course considering it's been a while since I've been in that kind of situation, so I'm pleased with the way the day panned out."

Brier, who parred 17, stumbled to a bogey on the par-five 18th to fall one back. He had birdied No. 18 the first two rounds.

Early on, Bjorn played steady golf. He posted his first birdie on the second and didn't make another birdie until No. 7. He parred the other seven holes on the front side. Bjorn also parred the first four holes of the back nine.

Brier birdied the fourth and sixth, but dropped a shot on the par-five ninth to make the turn with a one-stroke lead. He briefly pushed his lead to three thanks to back-to-back birdies from the 11th.

"There were a lot of good things except the par-fives, which I had two bogeys and two pars, which is not normally what you want to have," said Brier. "The rest was really good."

Alvaro Quiros, the 2009 champion, fired a six-under 66 to jump into a share of fifth place at six-under-par 210. He was joined there by Richard Finch (71).

Rafael Cabrera-Bellos also fired a 66 to join British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (69), Steven O'Hara (69) and 1999 winner Paul Lawrie (71) in seventh at minus-five.

NOTES: World No. 2 Martin Kaymer posted a four-under 68 to move up 29 places into a share of 28th at minus-one...Steve Stricker and John Daly, the two Americans that made the cut, both struggled to one-over 73s Saturday. Stricker managed a birdie and two bogeys while dropping to plus-four and Daly dipped to plus-two after a double-bogey, three bogeys and four birdies...European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal posted his second straight 72 and is tied for 61st at three-over-par 219.


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