Asian number one Thongchai Jaidee opened up a commanding three shot lead midway through the third round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on a low scoring day at Emirates Golf Club.
Jaidee looked in a relaxed mood as the four-time European Tour winner needed just ten putts to pick up three birdies over his opening nine holes of the Majlis course to move onto ten under par overall.
Miguel Angel Jiménez had moved alongside the overnight leader at the start of the third round, but a dropped shot and back-to-back birdies by Jaidee left the Spaniard and Challenge Tour number one Edoardo Molinari heading the chasing pack at eight under par.
European Number One Lee Westwood, Alvaro Quiros and defending champion Rory McIlroy sit a further shot back.
A frustrated Westwood reached the turn in level par, while Quiros and McIlroy picked up solitary gains through nine holes of their third rounds.
McIlroy dropped a shot at his first hole of the day following a wayward opening tee shot, but made amends with two gains before the turn, while Quiros' birdie arrived after last week's runner-up in Qatar converted from six feet at the par four second.
On another overcast day in Dubai, Jiménez joined Jaidee at the top of leaderboard at eight under with a superb approach to two feet at his first hole of the day, before the duo pulled two clear of Quiros with a pair of birdies at the par five third.
But after scrambling for par at the fifth and sixth with sublime chips to within two feet, Jaidee reclaimed the outright lead after Jiménez dropped a fourth shot of the week by missing a 20 foot par putt at the par four sixth following a poor tee shot.
The Thai ace then doubled his lead a hole later with an eight foot birdie putt before increasing his advantage with a ten foot conversion on the next hole after reaping the benefits of a long drive allowing him to hit a high wedge into the green.
|T2||JIMÉNEZ, Miguel Angel||ESP||18||-11|