Sport | Golf

Tiger, Rock tie to lead bunched field on day three of tournament

Duo with identical scores are followed two shots behind by foursome

  • By Ashley Hammond, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 January 29, 2012
  • Gulf News

Robert Karlsson, during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
  • Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News
  • Robert Karlsson, during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Karlsson who shared McIlroy’s throne on Thursday, cancelled out his two front nine birdies with back nine faults, to finish level par stagnated at the same score for three days 67-72-72. McIlroy, frustrated from a two stroke penalty for brushing the green on day two, bogeyed just once in his round of 68 on Saturday.

Abu Dhabi: Tiger Woods and Robert Rock top the leader board after day three of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship tied at 11 under par 205.

Both recorded almost identical bogeyless 66's with two birdies on the front nine and four off the back to continue from their respective 70-69 and 69-70 scores from rounds one and two.

A bunched foursome, two shots off the lead at nine under are tied for second. They are, Peter Hanson, Francesco Molinari, Rory McIlroy and Paul Lawrie.

Day one's joint leader Rory McIlroy, frustrated from a two stroke penalty for brushing the green on day two, bogeyed just once in his round of 68 yesterday to linger just off the pace at 207 (67-72-68). Meanwhile, Robert Karlsson who shared McIlroy's throne on Thursday, cancelled out his two front nine birdies with back nine faults, to finish level par stagnated at the same score for three days 67-72-72.

Surprise

Danish youngster Thorbjorn Olesen, 22, who surprised all with his day two lead, is on 208 (70,67,71) marring four birdies with three faults in a return to earth now eight under, three shots from top with three others including George Coetzee, James Kingston and Jean Baptiste Gonnet.

Woods said: "There's too many guys up there right now. There's a ton of guys with a chance to win. You know, we have not separated ourselves from the field. The field is very bunched. I need to go out there and put together a solid round of golf, and I can't go out there and shoot even par and expect to win. I've got to go out there and get it.

"It just seemed like I didn't do a lot of things right, but I didn't do a lot of things wrong today [either]. It was just very consistent."

Rock, who will tee off today at 11.45am with Woods and Hanson for the final day's play, couldn't hide his excitement at a fourth day's pairing with a 14-times Major champion.

"I just want to experience it. How many chances I'll get to do that [in my career], it's not clear.

"There were a lot of people out there obviously following Tiger in the group in front of us.

Cope

"Hopefully we've got the same amount of people watching tomorrow, and we'll see how I cope with it. I've not experienced that before, so I don't know [how I'll cope] either way. Elsewhere, McIlroy is feeling good about his chances from two strokes behind.

"I feel pretty comfortable, and I've been hitting a lot of great iron shots and I feel like the putting has been pretty good. So hopefully I can just keep that going tomorrow and maybe get off to a fast start and put pressure on the guys in front of me," he said.

Scores

205 - Tiger Woods (USA) 70-69-66, Robert Rock (ENG) 69-70-66

207 - Peter Hanson (SWE) 74-69-64, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 74-67-66, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 67-72-68, Paul Lawrie (SCO) 70-69-68

208 - George Coetzee (RSA) 71-72-65, James Kingston (RSA) 72-69-67, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA) 68-71-69, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 70-67-71

209 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 73-71-65, Jamie Donaldson (WAL) 74-68-67, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 72-69-68, Matteo Manassero (ITA) 73-65-71

210 - Keith Horne (RSA) 71-71-68, Richard Finch (ENG) 68-71-71, Gareth Maybin (NIR) 68-70-72

211 - Graeme Storm (ENG) 74-69-68, Mark Foster (ENG) 75-67-69, Liang Wen-Chong (CHN) 70-71-70, Johan Edfors (SWE) 70-71-70, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 72-69-70, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 71-69-71, Robert Karlsson (SWE) 67-72-72

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