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Friday, 19 March 2010
Omega Dubai Desert Classic - Round Three  (Getty Images)
Omega Dubai Desert Classic - Round Three (Getty Images)

European Number One Lee Westwood promised to take an aggressive approach in the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after claiming a share of the lead.

The World Number Four dropped just one shot in a four under par 68 to join Spanish duo Alvaro Quiros and Miguel Angel Jiménez and Asian number one Thongchai Jaidee in a four-way tie at 11 under par.

A frustrated Westwood was one over after six holes of his third round but fought back and had a chance to snatch the outright lead at the last but missed a long eagle putt.

"Any time I'm in contention that gets me buzzing and excited," said Westwood.

"I'll play aggressively, I won't do anything stupid, but I'll shoot at the flags that need to be shot at.

"If I keep playing the way I am and get off to a quick start I'm going to have a chance coming down the last nine holes."

Defending champion Rory McIlroy heads the chasing pack after a 69, with Marcus Fraser (70) and last season’s Challenge Tour number one Edoardo Molinari (70) on eight under and Abu Dhabi champion Martin Kaymer lurking a further shot adrift after a bogey free 68.

Last week in Qatar Westwood headed into the final round just one shot adrift but was left frustrated with a new driver and was forced to settle for third.

But a week later the 36 year old is much more confident of success after blazing a flawless seven under par 65 on Friday, his best score in 50 rounds at Emirates Golf Club.

"It will be a bit of a birdie-fest if it stays like this," he added.

"Hopefully there will be a bit of wind, but all I'm going to do is try and do what I did at the Dubai World Championship and go out and shoot the lowest score of the final day."

Overnight leader Jaidee missed a string of chances on the back nine after briefly establishing a four shot lead and was forced to settle for a 69.

"I am not disappointed I am not in the lead outright. I will just play my own game," said the 40 year old former paratrooper. "I have a good chance, but it is very close."

Quiros finished with back-to-back birdies to card the joint lowest score of the day with a flawless 67.

"It is going to be very tough to win with the players at the top of the leaderboard, it's not only in my hands. I want to shoot ten under, but someone could shoot 11 under," said the big-hitting 27 year old.

"I'm hitting a lot of great shots but I'm hitting a lot of bad shots, but I'm very lucky because I was able to recover. I have to be more consistent."

Jiménez, who began the day a shot adrift of Jaidee alongside Westwood, picked up four shots over his final eight holes to sign for a four under par 68 following a sublime display of iron play.

"I kept my concentration and focused on what I was hitting well and waited for the birdies to come," the 46 year old said. "And that puts me in contention with all of these young guys."

Italian amateur Matteo Manassero continued to flourish with a 71 pushing the 16 year old British amateur champion to four under, with 60 year old eight-time Major winner Tom Watson two shots further back after ending his third round 71 with a double bogey.

 

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-1
T2JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-11
T2WESTWOOD, LeeENG18-11
4JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-10
T5MOLINARI, EdoardoITA18-9
T5KAYMER, MartinGER18-9
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