• McIlroy hits front in Abu Dhabi

    McIlroy hits front in Abu Dhabi
    Rory McIlroy

    A solid third-round performance gave Rory McIlroy a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Sunday.

    The Northern Irishman hit back after a disappointing second round as he surged to the summit of the leaderboard on Saturday.

    A single round now stands between McIlroy and a 15th European Tour title in what will be the perfect start to the year for him.

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    His five-under-par 67 was aided by overnight-leader Tyrrell Hatton struggling to make any headway in his third round, giving McIlroy the opportunity to launch an attack.

    An excellent hole-out from 73 yards for eagle on the 10th all but propelled McIlroy to the top as he battled the back nine to finish the day on 13 under par.

    Hatton’s 71, though, will have him start Sunday’s final round in second place and still well capable of lifting the first European Tour trophy of the year.

    Tommy Fleetwood, on the other hand, carded a consecutive round of 67, signing his third round off on 11 under and in third place.

    The South African duo of George Coetzee and Christiaan Bezuidenhout also managed to crawl their way into contention in Abu Dhabi.

    The pair ended the third round on seven under par and in T8 following respective rounds of 68 (Coetzee) and 67 (Bezuidenhout).

    Justin Harding, the only other South African in action over the weekend, suffered a tough day out and settled for a round of 76.

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