Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA: Day 3 as it happened - Shane Lowry's holds three-shot lead over Richard Sterne
All the news from the penultimate day of the European Tour event at Abu Dhabi Golf Club
17.00 Lowry finishes three ahead
Shane Lowry has a three-shot advantage to take into Saturday's final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
A birdie at the 18th gave him a round of 67 to leave him on -17, three ahead of South African Richard Sterne.
An eagle on the final hole from Ian Poulter lifted the Englishman to -12 and gives him hope he can prevail on Saturday.
Pablo Larrazabal will start the final round on -11 ahead of a quartet of Maximilian Kiefer, Thomas Pieters, Soren Kjeldsen and Scott Jamieson.
That concludes Friday's updates. Look out for Paul Radley's report from the course on the site shortly as well as the final round tee times.
16.25 Lowry edges clear
Richard Sterne is doing his best to keep Shane Lowry within range but the Irishman is proving to be in great form.
A birdie at the 15th puts Lowry back three clear of Sterne on -17 with three holes to play.
Sterne is three under for the day but has still lost ground as Lowry is five shots up on the day.
These two have pulled a gap on the rest of the field. Pablo Larrazabal is next best of the rest on -11, and the Spaniard is finished for the day.
There is a quartet of players on -10 in the shape of Maximilian Kiefer, Thomas Pieters, Ian Poulter and Soren Kjeldsen.
Biggest disappointment of the day has been the form of Louis Oosthuizen. The South African started the day one behind Lowry but is now 10 behind after dropping four shots to fall back to -7.
15.45 Sterne clawing gap back to Lowry
South African Richard Sterne is keeping himself within touch of Shane Lowry at the top of the leaderboard.
He is up to -13, two shots behind Lowry, after picking up an eagle at the 10th.
The final groups are now all on the back nine so it should be an intriguing next 90 minutes or so.
The leaderboard is as such. -15 Lowry; -13 Sterne; -11 Kjeldsen;
Meanwhile, if you are up at Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the action be sure to visit The National's stand in the spectator area, where you can relax or play some games.
14.50pm Lowry pulling clear
Amazing how quickly things can change. An hour ago he was level pegging at the top of the leaderboard, now Shane Lowry is four shots clear.
The Irishman is three under for the day after eight holes to move to -15, and that has put him four clear of Pablo Larrazabal and Richard Sterne.
Further back, Brooks Koepka has picked up two shots to move to the group in ninth place on -9, six shots adrift of Lowry still.
14.15pm Lowry leads as Jamieson suffers a triple bogey
Scott Jamieson had started off the day well with three shots picked up in the first five holes to move up from -9 to a share of the lead on -12 with Shane Lowry.
But it has gone badly wrong for him at the seventh as he has triple bogeyed the par-3 hole to drop back to -9.
Lowry now leads by two shots on -13 after getting a birdie at the sixth and he leads from the quartet of Thomas Pieters, Pablo Larrazabal, Richard Sterne and Soren Kjeldsen.
Meanwhile, it has been an underwhelming day for world No 2 Brooks Koepka. He is still on -7 after 12 holes, his two birdies on Friday being cancelled out by two bogies.
13.45pm Sterne and Jamieson in pursuit of Lowry
For a few fleeting moments Shane Lowry had daylight at the top of the leaderboard in Abu Dhabi.
A birdie on the second hole put him two ahead on -13, but that did not last long as Sterne picked up a shot on the third to get the gap back down to one shot.
Sterne has been joined on -12 by Scotsman Scott Jamieson, who has got his third round off to a flier with three birdies in his first five holes.
German Maximilian Kiefer has hit the round of the day so far. His 67 has him in the clubhouse on -10, three shots off Lowry.
Louis Oosthuizen, who started the day one behind Lowry is now four adrift on -9 after dropping two shots in his first three holes.
13.05 Early setbacks for Oosthuizen and Westwood
Everyone has now started their third round and Louis Oosthuizen probably wishes he could restart his.
The South African bogeys the first to drop back to -10, two off leader Shane Lowry who parred the hole himself.
Richard Sterne is now on his own on -11 in second place.
Meanwhile, Lee Westwood also bogeyed the first and he is back in a group of six players on -9.
12.30 Course is getting busy
Only the last few pairs are yet to tee off in the third round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
World No 2 Brooks Koepka has begun with a birdie to move to four shots of leader Shane Lowry on -8, while both Thomas Bjorn and David Lipsky have finished with rounds of 69 to be -6.
Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood has hit a 72 to remain at -3, while world No 3 Dustin Johnson is still two over for the day with two holes to go, with the American on -2 overall.
11.45 Kiefer closes in on leaders
Maximilian Kiefer has moved to within three shots of leader David Lowry after birdies at the eighth and ninth holes has moved him up to -9 for the tournament.
The German still has nine more holes to try and put him in a strong position for Saturday's final round.
His compatriot Martin Kaymer, a three-time champion in Abu Dhabi, has begun his third round well with a birdie on the opening hole moving him to -7.
Lowry begins his third round in just over an hour at 12.50pm.
10.50am Lipsky leads the early movers
American David Lipsky is on target for the best early round as things stand.
He is four under after 11 holes and he is up to a tie for 13th place on -7, five shots behind leader Shane Lowry who starts his third round at 12.50pm.
Further back it is proving to be an event to forget for world No 3 Dustin Johnson. He is two over after the front nine and the American is back to -2 for the championship.
Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood is not going to win the event for a third time on the spin. He is one under and -4 for the tournament but he has still had fun while in Abu Dhabi.
10.10 Pairings to watch for
We are still a couple of hours away from seeing the leaders hit the course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
To check out when the players to come are going to be walking to the first tee, check out our guide below.
09.25 Bjorn starts well
2018 was a good year for Thomas Bjorn as he captained Europe to Ryder Cup success in France.
The Dane is back concentrating on his own game now and he has started his third round well in Abu Dhabi.
He is three under through six holes to be -6, leaving him six shots behind leader Shane Lowry.
Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, who needed to hole a nervy putt on the 18th on Thursday to avoid missing the cut, has started well on Friday and is two under through seven holes to be -4.
But world No 3 Dustin Johnson has bogeyed his first home and slipped back to -3 and a tie for 64th.
08.55 Third round is a go
Good morning! Welcome to coverage of the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.
The action is already under way, with Shane Lowry, who leads on -12, starting his third round at 12.50pm.
He is partnered with Louis Oosthuizen, who is one shot back. Oosthuizen's South African compatriot Richard Sterne is also on -11, and he is paired with England's Lee Westwood, who is on -10, and they go off at 12.41pm.
A full list of the pairings for the third round can be found here.
Play started at 7.20am and of the early starters, Thomas Bjorn, Andy Sullivan and Renato Paratore are all two under for the day so far, with the trio all on -5.
Stay with us throughout the day for updates on the action.
Updated: January 18, 2019 05:16 PM