Shane Lowry battles in Dubai but falls well behind DeChambeau

American takes a one shot lead into the final round over defending champion Li Haotong

Shane Lowry of Ireland takes his tee shot on hole eight during day three of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Shane Lowry of Ireland takes his tee shot on hole eight during day three of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

Shane Lowry fought back after a poor start to his third round at the Dubai Desert Classic to card a one under par round of 71 but the Offalyman’s hopes of making it back-to-back victories look to be slim heading into Sunday.

Lowry – who won the Abu Dhabi Championship last week – started with consecutive bogeys at the Emirates Golf Club on Saturday and, despite a birdie at the fourth, was three over par through 12 holes after two more bogeys on the bounce around the turn.

However, he battled back well to put in a big finish with a birdie at the 16th which was followed by an eagle two at the Par 4 16th and another birdie at the last. That added up to a round of 71 and a total of nine under par for the Irishman but it leaves him seven shots off the lead which is held by Bryson DeChambeau.

The American fired a four-under 68 in the third round to take a one-shot lead over defending champion Li Haotong.

World number five DeChambeau had two straight bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes but ended the round strongly with four birdies after the turn, for a total of six on the day, to go 16-under for the tournament.

DeChambeau, who is bidding to claim his maiden European Tour victory, was not completely satisfied with his display despite holding an advantage heading into Sunday’s final round.

“I’m not 100 percent with my golf game right now,” the 25-year-old DeChambeau said.

“I’m still leading... it’s fantastic... but my expectation levels are for how I know I can perform, and I feel like I’m underperforming a little bit.”

DeChambeau recovered after two bogeys to rattle in a 10-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole to grab a share of the lead, before further gains on the 15th and 17th holes to edge ahead.

“Made it happen when it’s necessary and hopefully I can have one more of those days and maybe even a better-ball striking day... I can’t express how awesome it would be to win on the European Tour,” DeChambeau added.

Hot on DeChambeau’s heels is Li, who shot a third straight round of 67, finishing with two consecutive birdies, to come back into contention.

“I did play really solid compared to the last two rounds and long game being much better. But just had a couple of mistakes on the greens. In total, pretty good round,” Li said.

Four-times major winner Ernie Els was two strokes behind the Chinese golfer, tied for third alongside England’s Matt Wallace.

Lucas Herbert, who led alongside DeChambeau after 36 holes, started poorly but recovered late on to sit fifth where he was in a four-way tie.

Collated third round scores & totals in the European Tour Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Emirates GC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (British unless stated, Irish in bold, Par 72):

200 Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 66 66 68

201 Haotong Li (Chn) 67 67 67

203 Matt Wallace 70 64 69, Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 65 70

204 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 63 72, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 66 70 68, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 69 67 68, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 69 64 71

205 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 67 67 71, Jordan Smith 68 68 69, Matthew Fitzpatrick 65 70 70

206 Andrew Johnston 72 69 65, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 66 68 72, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 66 70 70, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 70 68 68, Tommy Fleetwood 68 70 68, George Coetzee (Rsa) 70 65 71, Lee Westwood 67 70 69

207 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 72 68 67, Ross Fisher 69 69 69, Shane Lowry (Irl) 69 67 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 69 66 72, Victor Perez (Fra) 70 70 67, Kim Koivu (Fin) 67 68 72, Bradley Dredge 68 68 71

208 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 68 68 72, Richie Ramsay 69 72 67, Romain Wattel (Fra) 68 70 70, Paul Waring 67 70 71, Ian Poulter 67 71 70, Ashun Wu (Chn) 71 68 69, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 74 67 67, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 71 67 70, Eddie Pepperell 72 67 69

209 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 72 68 69, Callum Shinkwin 66 68 75, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 72 69 68

210 Justin Harding (Rsa) 70 68 72, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 68 70 72, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 71 67 72, Romain Langasque (Fra) 66 70 74, Aaron Rai 70 68 72, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 69 72 69, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 71 70 69, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 71 69 70, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 73 66 71, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 68 73 69, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 71 70 69, Tyrrell Hatton 69 70 71, Thomas Detry (Bel) 68 68 74

211 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 75 65 71, Scott Hend (Aus) 66 70 75, Tom Lewis 68 72 71, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 69 67 75, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 66 71 74, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 70 70 71

212 Dean Burmester (Rsa) 70 69 73, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 71 68 73, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 72 66 74, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 67 74 71

213 Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 69 72 72, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 72 69 72, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 67 69 77, Ashley Chesters 72 69 72, Chris Paisley 73 68 72

214 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 72 73

215 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 71 69 75, Sam Brazel (Aus) 71 70 74

216 Stephen Gallacher 68 72 76, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 67 74 75

217 Marc Warren 70 71 76, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 68 71 78

218 Matthew Southgate 71 70 77

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