F. Molinari, Lowry and Lee lead 13-under in Abu Dhabi


The attempt to Shane Lowry to become a two-time champion Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship continues the overtones of reality after signing off with a third-round 66 stroke to reach the final round tied for Francesco Molinari and Min Woo Lee at the top of the ranking.

The Irishman carded a stunning eagle, five birdies and a single bogey on Saturday to stand at 13 under par. The 2019 tournament champion led most of the final nine holes solo before his only bogey of the day on the 17th hole and a final birdie from Lee on the 18th caught the Aussie out.

But the 2019 British Open champion bounced back well, neatly sinking his birdie putt from nearly nine feet on the final hole. And halfway through, co-leader Francesco Molinari tied Lee and Lowry for the lead after finishing his third round with a 69 and a birdie from five feet on the final hole, a par 5.

Lee had seven birdies and a bogey for a 66, with the highlight of his round coming on the short fourth hole, when he birdied a hole in one.

The leading trio has a chasing group just behind, with Frenchman Víctor Pérez, Scotsman Grant Forrest and Swede Sebastian Söderberg on 12 under par.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, Padraig Harringtonfound himself in the four-man group another shot away after racking up six straight birdies on his flawless 64-shot card.

Lowry said in the mixed zone: “It’s good to go out on Saturday, in the tough conditions on the back nine, and put myself out there for tomorrow. The first tournament of the year you don’t know what’s going to happen. My thing is to try to give the myself as many chances to win as I can and, at some point, I hope it happens.

Molinari assured after signing his card that “it was quite a difficult day. I think I missed some shots on the front nine. And then on the back nine it was difficult because of the wind that came, so I Pretty happy with what I did. It wasn’t an easy day. It was nice to get a birdie on the last hole.”

As for the Spanish, Pablo Larrazabal (17th) is the best in the top 20 after carding a 68 shot for 207 (-9) on Saturday, 4 shots behind the leaders.

Source: La Verdad


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