Abu Dhabi Championship: Jamieson maintains 1-stroke lead after three rounds; India's Shubhankar rises to fourth

Scott Jamieson stayed on course for a wire-to-wire win at the Abu Dhabi Championship by making birdie at the last hole to retain his one-stroke lead at the end of the third round on Saturday.

The Scottish player shot 4-under 68 and was on 11 under overall in the first European tour event of 2022 after breaking free of a tie for the lead with Shane Lowry and Thomas Pieters (both 67s).   -  AP

Scott Jamieson stayed on course for a wire-to-wire win at the Abu Dhabi Championship by making birdie at the last hole to retain his one-stroke lead at the end of the third round on Saturday.

The Scottish player, ranked No. 336 and seeking his first title since 2012, shot 4-under 68 and was on 11 under overall in the first European tour event of 2022 after breaking free of a tie for the lead with Shane Lowry and Thomas Pieters (both 67s).

Jamieson has led by one stroke after all three rounds.

Lowry was bogey-free around Yas Links as he looks to win in Abu Dhabi for the second time, after his 2019 victory that was topped later that year by winning the British Open. The strong winds this week have been reminiscent of those at British Opens and Lowry has looked at home in the conditions.

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Viktor Hovland, the No. 7-ranked Norwegain seeking his third title in his last four events, missed a par putt from inside 2 feet at the 18th hole to shoot 70 and drop into a share of fourth place with Shubhankar Sharma (67).

The scoring was much lower than on Friday, when gusts of up to 40 mph (64 kph) off the coastline of the Persian Gulf caused havoc.

Rory McIlroy made the cut on the number and shot 67 — his best score of the week by five strokes — to climb to 2 under and a tie for 28th.

Shubhankar shoots 67 in tough conditions, rises to 4th

India's Shubhankar Sharma on Saturday bounced back from an early double bogey to card 5-under 67, which brought him inside Top-5 of the Abu Dhabi Championship, the first in the Rolex Series on the DP World Tour.

After rounds of 70-71 on the first two days, Sharma rose from 3-under for two days to 8-under for three days and 54 holes.

Sharma, who won the second of his two European Tour titles in 2018, was tied fourth alongside Norwegian Viktor Hovland, who bogeyed the 18th hole.

Scott Jamieson (68) will aim to become a wire-to-wire winner as he clung on to his lead carding a superb birdie on the final hole to move one clear of Shane Lowry (67) and Thomas Pieters (67).

Jamieson was 11-under, while Lowry and Pieters were at 10-under with Sharma and Hovland at 8-under.

Sharma opened with a birdie on first but dropped a double on Par-4 sixth. He hit back immediately with an eagle with a superb 33-foot putt. He birdied ninth, 11th, 14th and 15th and parred the final three for his 67.

Sharma has now had two doubles – one on the first day on Par-3 fourth and one on Par-4 sixth on third day.

Sharma, who began the day with a fine birdie, had a double and fought back superbly for a 67, that was the score of the day.

"I am quite happy with the way the day went, especially after that double bogey. It was important that I fight back after that and to get an eagle was very satisfying," said Sharma.

On what is working for him, Sharma added, "I feel like it's just a game of patience out here. With the high winds anything is possible and you know. So when that double (bogey) happened I just had to stay patient.

"So you just have to give yourself perspective every time you make those errors and try to give yourself as many opportunities as possible and that's been working for me this week." As for any changes he may have made in his game or attitude, Sharma said, "No, I have not made any changes. I went back home in October last year. I was on tour for six months and I was really tired.

"So I had to go back home and just chill with my friends. I had to get recharged and that's all I've done. I've not really changed anything in my swing. And I just feel more energetic and more healthy now." On his plan for the final day, he said. "Patience. It's all it's all to do with patience. Tomorrow will be long day and I'm pretty sure it'll be windy as well. So I just have to keep the energies up and give myself chances."

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