Saturday, January 31, 2015


Rory McIlroy and Paul Lawrie both shot six-under-par 66s in the third round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic today, writes Colin Farquharson.
McIlroy has gone four shots clear of the field - Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen is the new second after Marc Warren slipped back - on 20-under-par 196.
Lawrie's clickety-click put him into the top 20 - T19 to be precise) on 10-under-par 206.
Paul had seven birdies in all, six of them in a 10-hole span from the eighth to the 17th. Great shooting! He had one bogey, at the sixth, in halves of 34-32.
Stephen Gallacher, bidding for a third successive win in this tournament, is hanging on in there in joint fourth place after a70 for 203 - seven shots to make up on "SuperMac" over the final 18 holes.
Warren shot a one-over-par 73 and lost a lot of ground in this low-scoring tournament. He is now back in T8 position with a 204 tally.
Scott Jamieson is T54 on 212 after a 70 and Chris Doak is T70 on 215 following a 73.
The wheels came off for Richie Ramsay who sank to last of the 75 still in the field. The Aberdonian had a 75, bogeying the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th in a inward half of 40. He's on level par 216

Par 216 (3x72)
196 Rory McIlroy (N Ireland) 66 64 66
200 Morten Orum Madsen (Denmark) 71 63 66
202 Lee Westwood (England) 65 65 69
203 Andy Sullivan (England) 65 68 70, Stephen Gallacher (Scotland) 66 67 70, Danny Willett (England) 67 66 70

204 Marc Warren 66 65 73 (T8)
206 Paul Lawrie 69 71 66 (T19)
212 Scott Jamieson 74 68 70 (T54)
215 Chris Doak 72 70 73 (T70)
216 Richie Ramsay 72 70 75 (75th)

           Rory McIlroy in action today. Picture by courtesy of Getty Images (c). 


World No. 1 Rory McIlroy displayed why he is currently golf’s dominant force by cruising into a four-shot lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to edge closer to a first victory of the 2015 season.
In just his second tournament of a year in which he chases a career Grand Slam of Majors, the 25 year old barely broke sweat as he birdied five holes to reach the turn at the Emirates Golf Club in just 30 strokes. A further birdie on the 17th ensured a third round of six under 66 and a 20 under par, 54-hole total.
Entering moving day one shot clear of a star-studded chasing pack, McIlroy threw down the gauntlet early on with an opening birdie before picking up four shots in his next seven six holes and, while he struggled to maintain that momentum on the back nine, he still moved into position to beat Thomas Bjørn and Stephen Gallacher’s shared 72-hole tournament record score of 22 under.
Of those queuing up in the hope of overthrowing the in-form Northern Irishman, Morten Ørum Madsen of Denmark was the closest as the 2013 South African Open Champion carded a 66 of his own to add to his brilliant nine under second round 63.
Eight-time Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood was two shots further back on 14 under par courtesy of a 69, while Gallacher retained some hope of making it three successive wins at Emirates Golf Club after a two under 70 saw him join the English duo of Andy Sullivan and Danny Willett, as well as Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, on 13 under par.


Rory McIlroy
-  “I didn't put a foot wrong on the front nine and when I missed that little short putt on ten, it seemed like that momentum I had just sort of went away and I had to scramble a little bit for pars coming in.
“It was nice to make birdie on 17 and then it was a great save on the last. It was nice to go out there today with no bogeys so I can't complain. It’s another good round and I’m in a great position going into tomorrow.
“The greens got firm and the wind got up a little bit so it was hard to get the ball close to the hole. You had to hit really quality shots to give yourself chances for birdies, and I didn't quite do that on the back nine like I did on the front.
“I've been in this position many times before so I know the pitfalls that are waiting out there. It's just a matter of sticking to the same game plan, being aggressive, making committed swings and giving myself as many chances for birdies as I can.”

Morten Ørum Madsen – “Obviously I felt pretty confident from the round I played yesterday. That was one of my best rounds ever. It’s hard to go out and shoot a low number again coming from yesterday.
“I felt solid and more relaxed today actually than I did yesterday. I was nice and calm all the way, putted well and hit the ball solid too. I wasn't really in any major trouble, so that was nice.
“Obviously he's going to be tough to beat. He looks like he's playing pretty solidly out there, as well. I'm just going to go out tomorrow and see if I can play some of the same golf that I played today.
“I won't be too disappointed if I don't win tomorrow. I'll be happy if I do what I set out to do and play pretty solidly.”

Lee Westwood – “Any time you're in the last group in a tournament, you feel you've got a chance to win. You never know what's going to happen.
“I was pleased with the way I played today, arguably as good as I played on the first day. I played really solid, one or two poor shots got penalised, especially nine - I took a six there. But all in all, first week of the year, I'm pleased with where all aspects of my game are at.
“I wasn't in Abu Dhabi and I didn't watch it. I know he (Martin Kaymer) had a ten‑shot lead at some stage, but I've been ten behind somebody with nine holes to play and they have made a good putt on 17 to stay one in front. Golf's a funny game and anything can happen out there.
“I'm normally a slow starterto the year. I've had six weeks off, so I wasn't sure whether my scoring would be there and whether I would be sort of match fit, but all aspects of my game have pleased me this week so far.”

Stephen Gallacher
– “On the front nine I couldn't seem to get much going at all. I had a chance at 13, hit a lovely drive in the corner and I was looking at an eight-iron and made par, so kind of stopped me a wee bit in my tracks.
“It was a tough scoring day, apart from Rory going out five-under, not much you can do when the leader goes out in five‑under. I’m still in there for tomorrow. You never know what can happen, if I get it hot on the front nine.
“I saw what he was doing but obviously we can't control what he was doing. I just had to try to get as low a back nine as I could, really, to stay in touch.
“I didn't feel like anything was sort of going for me today. I didn't feel particularly good but I hung in there and I’m still in contention with one round to go.”

Par 216 (3x72)
196 R McIlroy  (Nir) 66 64 66,
200 M Madsen  (Den) 71 63 66
202 L Westwood (Eng) 65 68 69
203 B Wiesberger  (Aut) 64 69 70, S Gallacher (Sco) 66 67 70, A Sullivan (Eng) 65 68 70, D Willett  (Eng) 67 66 70
204 G McDowell  (Nir) 67 65 72, R Paratore (Ita) 68 66 70, R Rock (Eng) 68 67 69, E Grillo (Arg) 67 68 69, M Warren (Sco) 66 65 73, P Uihlein  (USA) 65 69 70, A Noren  (Swe) 68 67 69, P Larrazábal (Esp) 69 66 69
205 S Benson (Eng) 66 66 73, G Stal  (Fra) 69 69 67, T Aiken (RSA) 68 71 66
206 P Lawrie (Sco) 69 71 66, H Stenson (Swe) 70 66 70, B An (SKor) 70 70 66, N Colsaerts  (Bel) 65 74 67
207 M Carlsson  (Swe) 71 71 65, M Kieffer (Ger) 66 68 73, D Lipsky (USA) 68 71 68
208 J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 70 66 72, W Ormsby (Aus) 69 69 70, J Luiten (Ned) 68 70 70, P Waring  (Eng) 69 67 72, R Green (Aus) 70 68 70, K Broberg (Swe) 69 69 70, T Jaidee (Tha) 71 68 69, D Van Der Walt (RSA) 69 73 66
209 A Hansen (Den) 66 72 71, M Kaymer (Ger) 67 69 73, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 71 67, M Foster (Eng) 73 69 67, D Howell (Eng) 71 69 69, G Bourdy (Fra) 69 71 69, G Havret  (Fra) 68 71 70, H Otto (RSA) 66 73 70
210 B Dredge (Wal) 71 71 68, A Cañizares  (Esp) 72 69 69, E Espana (Fra) 70 70 70, R Fisher (Eng) 71 68 71, A Levy (Fra) 72 68 70
211 F Aguilar (Chi) 70 71 70, M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) 70 70 71, Y Yang (SKor) 67 73 71, G Mulroy (RSA) 69 70 72, A Wall (Eng) 69 70 72, T Lewis (Eng) 68 73 70, A Johnston (Eng) 68 72 71,
212 T Hatton (Eng) 71 69 72, J Campillo (Esp) 67 70 75, M Ilonen  (Fin) 67 71 74, R Bland (Eng) 71 69 72, S Jamieson  (Sco) 74 68 70, A Quiros  (Esp) 73 69 70
213 D Brooks (Eng) 69 73 71, M Hoey  (Nir) 72 70 71, M Lampert (Ger) 71 67 75, T Pieters  (Bel) 69 69 75, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 72 70 71, B Grace  (RSA) 73 69 71, O Farr (Wal) 73 68 72
214 J Palmer (Eng) 74 68 72, D Foos (Ger) 71 71 72, E Els (RSA) 72 70 72
215 C Doak (Sco) 72 70 73, M Baldwin (Eng) 71 71 73, P Lawrie (Irl) 73 69 73, E Molinari  (Ita) 70 72 73, D McGrane (Irl) 71 70 74
216 R Ramsay  (Sco) 71 70 75




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