Saturday, January 27, 2018

Chinaman Li leaps into lead in Dubai but McIlroy only one behind with a round to goLi Haotong  (Getty Images)

Li Haotong, pictured, opened up a one-shot lead midway through the third round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic as Andy Sullivan made an impressive charge up the leaderboard.
The Chinese turned in 31 to get to 16 under and lead the way from Sullivan, who had one hole left to play, and Alexander Levy, who made a hole-in-one on the fourth of his first ten holes at Emirates Golf Club.
Two-time winner Rory McIlroy was then at 14 under, one clear of a group of eight players.
McIlroy had played the remaining seven holes of his second round in five under in the morning to lead by two and he briefly had a three-shot advantage after getting up and down following a booming drive down the second.
Li holed a confident putt on the first for a birdie before taking advantage of the par five third, and when McIlroy bogeyed the fourth after missing the green off the tee, the lead was down to one.
A stunning approach to the fifth handed Li another birdie and when he repeated the trick on the eighth with McIlroy surrendering a bogey after a poor chip, the 22 year old had a two-shot lead.
Levy birdied the third but better was to come as he aced the fourth from 171 yards with a nine iron to get to 13 under.
The hole-in-one was the second of the week after Matthew Southgate needed just a single blow on the seventh in round two, and third of the season.
A nice approach to the ninth edged Levy closer to the leaders and when he birdied the tenth after very nearly holing his eagle putt, the Frenchman was Li's nearest challenger.
Sullivan birdied the second, fifth, sixth and ninth with a bogey on the eighth to turn in 32 and when he added further gains on the tenth, 12th, 13th, 16th and 17th he was right in the mix.
American Pat Perez had played the back nine in 29 to surge up the leaderboard but a dropped shot on the first left him at 13 under with two to play, a position shared by Australian Brett Rumford.
Tyrrell Hatton and Maximilian Kieffer had four holes remaining in their rounds, Jeunghun Wang and Thomas Detry had seven holes to play, Haydn Porteous had completed ten and Miguel Ángel Jiménez turned in 32.
At the end of an eventful day Li led at 20-under-par 196 after scores of 66, 66 and 64.
Rory McIlroy is only a shot behind him in second place with scores of 65, 64 and 67 for 197.
With McIlroy two ahead of the third-placed competitors, Hadyn Porteous (South Africa) and Alexandre Levy (France), it looks a two-horse race over Sunday's final 18 holes.





Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google