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Luiten jumps in front at Irish Open

Kildare, Ireland (Sports Network) - Joost Luiten fired a 6-under-par 66 on Saturday to grab a 1-stroke lead entering the final round of the Irish Open.

Luiten is seeking his second European Tour win of the month after capturing the Lyoness Open title in early June. He sits at 13-under-par 203 through 54 holes, one stroke ahead of Pablo Larrazabal, who also shot 66 on Saturday at blustery Carton House Golf Club.

"It was good to day - a round in this wind with no bogeys is always good," said the 27-year-old, a two-time European Tour winner. "It looks like I'm playing good, playing consistently. I don't make a lot of silly mistakes, the game feels good."

Second-round co-leader Robert Rock carded a 71 and dropped into solo third at 10-under 206. Paul Casey (67) and Scott Henry (69) share fourth at minus-9.

Former Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal (71) highlights a group of six tied for sixth at 8-under, while halfway co-leader Peter Uihlein (74), defending champion Jamie Donaldson (69) and four others are tied for 12th at minus-7.

Luiten, who tied for 10th in his previous start at the BMW International Open, began the third round two strokes off the pace and used deft approach play to climb in front.

The Dutchman didn't have to hole a putt longer than 10 feet on his six birdies -- the first of which came at the par-5 fourth. He added gains at Nos. 6 and 9 for an outward 33.

Around the turn, Luiten birdied the 10th and drained a 20-foot par save at the 12th before adding another birdie at the 13th to reach 12-under.

Larrazabal, playing two groups ahead of Luiten, was also 12-under after picking up his sixth birdie of the day at the par-5 15th, but he parred out to remain there.

Luiten parred the 14th, then took the outright lead with a birdie at No. 15. He closed with a trio of pars to retain the edge.

"It's always great to go into the last round of the tournament as the leader, but this is the Irish Open and perhaps bigger than some other events," admitted Luiten.

NOTES: Luiten's other European Tour win came at the 2011 Iskandar Johor Open ... Larrazabal is seeking his third European Tour win and first of the season ... Among those missing the cut on Friday were local favorites Paul McGinley, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy.

06/29 13:43:00 ET


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