Miguel Angel Jiménez erased Thongchai Jaidee's one shot overnight lead to join the Asian number one at the top of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard at the start of the third round.
Evergreen Spaniard Jiménez, who rocketed up the leaderboard after firing seven birdies in a second round five under par 67, hit the ground running with a superb approach to two feet at the first to join Jaidee at eight under.
Four-time European Tour winner Jaidee claimed the halfway lead with a bogey free second round of 66.
European number one Lee Westwood started his third round with two pars and was joined at seven under by big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros and last season’s Challenge Tour number one Edoardo Molinari.
Quiros, runner-up in Qatar last week, converted from six feet at the par four second, while Omega Mission Hills World Cup winner Molinari chipped in at the first too for a birdie.
A resurgent Paul Casey drained a 40 foot putt at the first before chipping to inside a foot at the second to start with consecutive birdies to improve to six under, with Rory McIlroy a shot further back.
Defending champion McIlroy dropped a shot at his first hole of the day following a wayward tee shot.
English duo Oliver Wilson and Paul Waring posted the lead in the clubhouse at three under after rounds of 67.
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