Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 13 July 2020

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship: Tommy Fleetwood in the mix for third title as Lee Westwood leads

Two-time champion shot 67 in his third round to reach 8-under for the tournament

Tommy Fleetwood played himself into contention to regain the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA title after a solid round on Saturday, while Lee Westwood has moved to the top of the leaderboard.

Fleetwood, who was champion in the capital in 2017 and 2018, went round in 67 to reach 8-under for the tournament.

It left him a stroke behind the clubhouse leader Sebastian Heisele, who was on 9-under, the same score as a number of players still out on the course.

Westwood became the outright leader, on 11-under par, following an eagle at the par-5 eighth. He is one stroke clear of Thomas Detry.

Fleetwood made a rapid start to moving day, as he made birdie at each of the first four holes.

At one point he had seemed well placed to leapfrog Heisele at the top, before dropping a shot at the 17th.

He then failed to capitalise at the 18th on a day when the par-5 finishing hole had given up three eagles, as well as plenty of birdies. Fleetwood was in the minority of players to par 18.

Heisele, who grew up in Dubai and was club champion at Emirates Golf Club multiple times, was in the first match out of the morning.

He went 11 shots better than his playing partner, the former European Ryder Cup star Victor Dubuisson, as he raced from the bottom of the leaderboard to its summit.

Tommy Fleetwood tees off on the ninth hole during Day Three of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA. Getty Images
Tommy Fleetwood tees off on the ninth hole during Day Three of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA. Getty Images

The 31-year-old German did not drop a shot in his round of 8-under 64.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat made a fine response to his nightmare a day earlier, as he reached 8-under with a round of 7-under 65.

The fact the Thai is still in contention is remarkable, given he made a quadruple-bogey nine at the second in Round 2.

His 65 on moving day included an eagle at the par-5 18th.

Updated: January 18, 2020 03:49 PM

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