The 32-year-old Casey arrived in Doha still feeling the effects of alingering rib muscle injury and having missed the cut in each of his threeprevious appearances at the tournament. But he made seven birdies to sit tiedwith Dredge (70) with a 10-under total of 206.
“I am still only 95 percent fit with the rib and had no reason to beconfident arriving here given my previous record on this course,” Casey said.“But I am playing well now on a tough course where you cannot afford to makemistakes.”
Dredge is looking for his first title since the 2006 European Masters, andis hoping to make an early case for inclusion on the European Ryder Cup team.
“Coming from Wales and with the Ryder Cup being played at Celtic Manor,making the team is my big goal for this year,” Dredge said. “There are a lotof world ranking points available this week and I could do with them. I will belooking for a big finish.”
The duo will be chased by Lee Westwood in the final round, after theEnglishman shot a 70 to stay one shot off the lead—despite cracking the headof his driver on the 11th tee. Under the rules, he was not allowed to have areplacement brought to him on the course.
“The shaft felt soft,” Westwood said about the spare driver in his bag.“It affected my rhythm and it happened at a critical stage of the round. If Icould have made a couple of birdies over the closing holes I might have had atwo shot lead.”
Brett Rumford , who had the overnight lead, only managed a 73 to sit threeshots back. He started the day by holing a 6-foot putt for birdie, then droppedtwo shots on his next five holes and kept struggling on the greens.