Luiten hanging tough

6/30/2013 2:32:00 PM
Joost Luiten  (Getty Images)
Joost Luiten (Getty Images)
Joost Luiten was clinging to his one shot lead as the final round of The Irish Open began at Carton House in windy conditions.

The in-form Dutchman started the day one ahead of Pablo Larrazábal but followed four consecutive pars with a bogey at the fifth after hitting his approach over the green to drop to 12 under.

His Spanish playing partner was also one over through five, and with birdies not forthcoming in the final group several other players had come into contention.

England’s Robert Rock, who took the winner’s cheque in this event four years ago after being beaten by then-amateur Shane Lowry in a play-off, was one under through seven after a gain at the long fourth to join Larrazábal on 11 under.

And former Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal was on the same mark after a ten foot birdie at the ninth saw him turn in 33, 23 years after he last won this event and eight years since his last European Tour victory.

Paul Casey was alone in fifth at nine under, three shots behind Luiten after playing his first six holes in level par.

Casey got his challenge up and running with birdies on the eighth and ninth.

Once ranked third in the Official World Golf Ranking but currently 169th after form and fitness problems, Casey also birdied the tenth from 12 feet and when he made it four in a row from eight feet on the next, he was into the lead on 13 under.

The latter of those birdies came after a nasty squall had passed over the course, torrential rain sending players and spectators scurrying for cover.