Andy Sullivan takes two-shot lead into final round in Dubai

Ireland’s Niall Kearney is on track for a good finish after a third round of 66

Andy Sullivan plays his third shot on the 18th hole during day three of the Golf in Dubai Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Andy Sullivan plays his third shot on the 18th hole during day three of the Golf in Dubai Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

 

Andy Sullivan remains on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Golf in Dubai Championship despite missing the chance to build a commanding lead.

Sullivan took a three-shot lead into the third round and was four ahead at the turn, but could only play the back nine of the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in one under par to give hope to the chasing pack.

A 68 left the four-time European Tour winner on 21 under par, two shots ahead of fellow Englishman Matt Wallace, with Ross Fisher and Renato Paratore a further stroke adrift.

Ireland’s Niall Kearney – who has notched two top-25 finishes in his last two starts on the Challenge Tour – is on track for his best finish of the season on the main circuit thanks to a third round of 66 which has him at 12 under heading into the final day. The 32-year-old made five birdies and a bogey on Friday but the highlight of the round was an eagle two at the Par 4 16th.

Sullivan, who ended a five-year victory drought by shooting 27 under par to win the English Championship in August, said: “I’m happy with four under. I didn’t think I played brilliant golf.

“I wasn’t swinging it that great and a few of the pins I couldn’t quite get at. You are playing for 20 feet and from there the percentages are not great. All in all, I stayed patient and got my just desserts coming in with those two birdies.

“That’s what we were talking about before we got out there, it’s about being patient and I’m sure it will be the same tomorrow. There’s a lot of golf to be played, a lot of birdies to be made. If I play as good as I did the first two days I’ll be a confident man.”

Wallace carded six birdies and a solitary bogey in his 67 but insisted he is not thinking about winning a fifth European Tour title after failing to convert a three-shot lead after 54 holes of the Scottish Championship in October.

“I had a chance in Scotland and was in a better position in Scotland to win and I didn’t,” Wallace said. “I’m two behind a Ryder Cup player, someone who is playing really well. I’m going to have to go really low tomorrow.

“It’s not just him (Sullivan), someone could come from 15, 16 (under) and shoot nine or 10 under. Hopefully it can be me, but I’m just going to relax now and get ready for the fight.”

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre is among those five shots off the lead after covering his first seven holes in seven under par before having to settle for a 66.

The left-hander birdied his first five holes and then holed from 20 feet for an eagle on the par-five seventh, but played the remaining 11 holes in one over after a costly double bogey on the 11th.

“Obviously I’m happy with six under par, I’d have taken that before I went out, but after the start I had I should really have scored a lot better,” said MacIntyre, who missed from inside two feet for a birdie on the 18th.

“To finish the way I did wasn’t so sweet and you want it not to happen, but it’s just part and parcel of the game.

“I think it’s going to be like a shoot-out again (on Saturday), that suits my game. I’m playing great. I’m putting good, just need to tidy it up a little bit and see where we end up.”

Collated third round scores in the Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World, Jumeirah Golf Estates, United Arab Emirates (British unless stated, par 72):

195 Andy Sullivan 61 66 68

197 Matt Wallace 63 67 67

198 Ross Fisher 63 67 68, Renato Paratore (Ita) 68 65 65

199 Antoine Rozner (Fra) 63 69 67, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 65 69 65

200 Max Schmitt (Ger) 68 64 68, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 69 66 65, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 66 68 66, Robert Macintyre 66 68 66, Oscar Lengden (Swe) 64 69 67

202 Craig Howie 64 68 70, Steven Brown 70 63 69, Marc Warren 64 70 68, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 69 64 69, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 67 68 67, Sean Crocker (USA) 68 66 68, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 66 66

203 Sami Valimaki (Fin) 70 68 65, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 67 68 68

204 Lorenzo Scalise (Ita) 65 68 71, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 67 69 68, Stephen Gallacher 69 69 66, John Axelsen (Den) 66 67 71, Clement Sordet (Fra) 68 70 66, Grant Forrest 66 68 70, Niall Kearney (Irl) 71 67 66

205 Jordan Smith 69 68 68, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 65 69 71, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 68 67 70, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 68 68 69

206 David Horsey 71 67 68, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 66 69 71, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 66 71 69, Thomas Detry (Bel) 68 72 66, Alexander Knappe (Ger) 70 68 68, James Morrison 67 72 67, Aaron Rai 70 69 67

207 Haotong Li (Chn) 67 72 68, Callum Shinkwin 68 68 71, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 66 71 70, Danny Willett 67 67 73, Hurly Long (Ger) 70 68 69

208 Marcus Armitage 68 69 71, Joel Stalter (Fra) 70 68 70, Damien Perrier (Fra) 67 69 72, Paul Waring 68 68 72, Matthew Baldwin 71 70 67, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 66 70 72, Robert Rock 70 70 68, Sam Horsfield 68 70 70

209 Wil Besseling (Ned) 73 65 71, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 67 69 73, Jens Fahrbring (Swe) 68 70 71, Romain Wattel (Fra) 71 66 72, Pep Angles (Spa) 65 73 71, Eddie Pepperell 69 69 71, Jack Senior 68 69 72

210 Nicolai Von Dellingshausen (Ger) 70 67 73, Matthew Jordan 73 68 69, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 67 71, Steven Tiley 69 71 70, Emilio Cuartero Blanco (Spa) 69 68 73, Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 69 72 69

211 Euan Walker 71 70 70, Andrew Wilson 74 67 70

212 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 69 72 71, Mathiam Keyser (Rsa) 70 69 73

213 Jordan Wrisdale 72 67 74

214 Ben Evans 71 66 77, Ewan Ferguson 72 69 73

217 Pedro Oriol (Spa) 73 68 76

Donaldson leads in South Africa

Former Ryder Cup winner Jamie Donaldson and the in-form Christiaan Bezuidenhout share the lead at the halfway stage of the South African Open.

Donaldson surged through the field with a brilliant second round of 63 at Gary Player Country Club to reach 10 under par, while Bezuidenhout carded a second-successive 67.

South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli and Dean Burmester share third place on eight under, with Holland’s Joost Luiten and Austria’s Matthias Schwab part of a five-strong group on five under.

The Irish duo of Cormac Sharvin and Jonathan Caldwell both missed the cut at six over and seven over respectively.

“It was great,” said Donaldson, who almost chipped in on the last for an eagle which would have given him a share of the course record held by Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood.

“It was funny, I couldn’t quite get going yesterday, one under was a good score. I didn’t hit it very well and hit some balls afterwards and found it today.

“I hit a lot of good iron shots close to the flags and managed to putt really good so all in all a very good day.”

Donaldson’s last victory came on the Asian Tour in December 2015 but the 45-year-old Welshman has been in good form recently with a tie for third in the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open and a top-20 in the Cyprus Showdown on the same course the following week.

“I’ve been playing nicely, the only problem was that we had two weeks off after Cyprus and I was pretty cooked after four weeks on the road,” Donaldson, who secured the winning point for Europe in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, added.

“We had two weeks off but in lockdown there’s no golf courses open so I wasn’t able to hit any shots or do any practice, so last week was rusty to say the least.”

Donaldson duly missed the cut in the Alfred Dunhill Championship won by Bezuidenhout at Leopard Creek and the world number 41 carried on where he left off in Sun City with a bogey-free 67 on Friday.

Bezuidenhout birdied the fourth, sixth and ninth to reach the turn in 33 and picked up further shots on the 12th and 17th before missing from short range for a closing birdie on the par-five 18th.

Collated second round scores & totals in the European Tour South African Open, Gary Player GC, Sun City, South Africa (British unless stated, par 72):

134 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 67 67, Jamie Donaldson 71 63

136 Dean Burmester (Rsa) 67 69, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 68 68

139 Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 67, Aaron Cockerill (Can) 71 68, Ruan Korb (Rsa) 67 72, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 67 72, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 67 72

140 Hennie Du Plessis (Rsa) 70 70

141 JC Ritchie (Rsa) 70 71, Peter Karmis (Rsa) 72 69, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 73 68, Justin Walters (Rsa) 69 72, Scott Vincent (Zim) 72 69

142 David Law 71 71, Anthony Michael (Rsa) 73 69, Connor Syme 72 70, Marcel Siem (Ger) 74 68, Aron Zemmer (Ita) 67 75, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 73 69, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 70 72, Ruan Conradie (Rsa) 74 68

143 Jacques Blaauw (Rsa) 74 69, Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 70 73, (x) Austin Bautista (Aus) 71 72, Benjamin Follet-Smith (Zim) 72 71, Calum Hill 77 66, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 69 74, Jean-Paul Strydom (Rsa) 76 67

144 Neil Schietekat (Rsa) 69 75, James Kingston (Rsa) 71 73, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez (Spa) 72 72, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 75 69, Benjamin Poke (Den) 75 69, MJ Daffue (Rsa) 72 72, Scott Jamieson 70 74, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 72 72, Ockie Strydom (Rsa) 74 70, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 76 68, Steve Surry 72 72, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 75 69

145 MJ Viljoen (Rsa) 70 75, Jaco Ahlers (Rsa) 70 75, Rourke Van Der Spuy (Rsa) 73 72, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 72 73, Toby Tree 69 76, Deon Germishuys (Rsa) 74 71, Martin Rohwer (Rsa) 70 75, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 75 70

146 Richard Bland 72 74, Michael G Palmer (Rsa) 73 73, Luke Brown (Rsa) 71 75, Ulrich Van Den Berg (Rsa) 72 74, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 68 78, Daan Huizing (Ned) 72 74, Thriston Lawrence (Rsa) 76 70, Jayden Trey Schaper (Rsa) 73 73, Jesper Sandborg (Swe) 73 73, Nicolai Hojgaard (Den) 72 74, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 75 71, Stephen Ferreira (Por) 70 76

147 Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 74 73, George Coetzee (Rsa) 73 74, Matias Calderon (Chi) 74 73, Robin Roussel (Fra) 72 75, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 74 73, (a) Casey Jarvis (Rsa) 73 74, Stanislav Matus (Cze) 76 71, Darius Van Driel (Ned) 76 71, Jean Hugo (Rsa) 74 73

The following players missed the halfway cut:

148 Teaghan Gauche (Rsa) 78 70, Philip Eriksson (Swe) 75 73, Garrick Porteous 75 73, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 75 73, Christian Maas (Rsa) 73 75, Jake Roos (Rsa) 78 70, David Drysdale 76 72, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 73 75, Johannes Veerman (USA) 75 73, Oliver Farr 74 74, Trevor Fisher Jnr (Rsa) 77 71

149 Rhys Enoch 75 74, Richard McEvoy 75 74, David Boote 73 76, (a) Christo Lamprecht (Rsa) 76 73, Ben Stow 76 73, Daniel Van Tonder (Rsa) 78 71, Keith Horne (Rsa) 76 73, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 76 73, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 73 76

150 Alex Haindl (Rsa) 79 71, Cormac Sharvin (NIrl) 72 78, Ricardo Santos (Por) 74 76, Fredrik From (Swe) 75 75, (a) Malcolm Mitchell (Rsa) 75 75, Lars Van Meijel (Ned) 76 74

151 Anton Karlsson (Swe) 75 76, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 76 75, Keenan Davidse (Rsa) 76 75, Julian Suri (USA) 72 79, David Ravetto (Fra) 77 74, Estiaan Conradie (Rsa) 79 72, Daniel Greene (Rsa) 76 75, Jonathan Caldwell (NIrl) 72 79, Dylan Mostert (Rsa) 73 78, Jaco Prinsloo (Rsa) 78 73, James Kamte (Rsa) 76 75

152 Anton Haig (Rsa) 74 78, Andre Nel (Rsa) 75 77, Dylan Naidoo (Rsa) 76 76, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 76 76, Tristen Strydom (Rsa) 78 74, CJ Du Plessis (Rsa) 76 76, Jake Redman (Rsa) 74 78, Christiaan Basson (Rsa) 78 74, James Du Preez (Rsa) 78 74, Yurav Premlall (a) (Rsa) 75 77, Ryan Lumsden 78 74, Jordan Duminy (Rsa) 76 76, Ross McGowan 72 80

153 Hennie Otto (Rsa) 76 77, Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 79 74, Adilson Da Silva (Bra) 73 80, David Dixon 78 75, Luke Jerling (Rsa) 80 73, Gregory Havret (Fra) 75 78

154 Mitch Waite 80 74, Toto Thimba Jnr (Rsa) 77 77, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 81 73, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 81 73, JJ Senekal (Rsa) 77 77

155 Nikhil Rama (Rsa) 81 74, Robbie Van West (Ned) 81 74, Massimo Mbetse (Rsa) 80 75, Callum Mowat (Rsa) 82 73, Leon Vorster (Rsa) 80 75, Allister Ger Kock (Rsa) 82 73

156 Janne Kaske (Fin) 82 74, Carlos Pigem (Spa) 78 78

157 Adrien Saddier (Fra) 77 80, Siyanda Mwandia (Rsa) 75 82, Dale Whitnell 79 78, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 78 79

158 Ruan Ger Smidt (Rsa) 80 78, Makhetha Mazibuko (Rsa) 77 81

159 Clinton Grobler (Rsa) 78 81

160 Leon Visser (Rsa) 82 78, Samuel Simpson (Rsa) 78 82

161 Thabiso Ngcobo (Rsa) 86 75

163 Chris Cannon 79 84

167 Adriel Poonan (Rsa) 84 83

170 Romano Saincic (Rsa) 90 80

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