Sunday, 22 January 2017
Martin Kaymer at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship  (Getty Images)
Martin Kaymer at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Getty Images)

Martin Kaymer moved into a share of the lead midway through the final round as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship got set for a dramatic finish.

The German was looking to become just the ninth man in European Tour history to win the same event four times and was making serene progress with four birdies in his first eight holes before a bogey on the ninth dropped him back to 15 under.

That left him alongside Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who turned in a bogey-free 33, and a shot ahead of South Korea's Byeong hun-An.

US Open champion Dustin Johnson, 2014 winner Pablo Larrazábal and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger were then at 13 under, with birdies at a premium on the windiest day of the event so far.

Calm winds had allowed the early starters on Saturday to surge through the field but with no such advantage present on Sunday morning, the leading groups remained at the top of the leaderboard as they began their rounds.

Kaymer and Dean Burmester both took advantage of the second to get closer to the overnight leader but it was Aphibarnrat who leapforgged Tyrrell Hatton, holing a left-to-righter on the first and then sending his approach to two feet on the par five second.

The Englishman made par after missing the green on the first and second but he was not so fortunate on the next, surrendering just a third bogey of the week to drop two off the lead.

Larrazábal also dropped a shot to join the group at 11 under, which Henrik Stenson moved out of with a third birdie of the day.

The Swede took advantage of the second but gave the shot back on the third before birdieing the fifth and seventh, having to back off his putt twice on the latter as the wind continued to gust.

Larrazábal responded to his bogey in stunning fashion and was inches from an ace on the par three fourth, with Hatton and Johnson both making their pars.

The entire field was battling to get on the greens making putting a premium, and Kaymer holed a 40-footer on the sixth to get to his familiar spot at the top of the leaderboard.

And he was soon there on his own as he holed from 15 feet on the par three seventh to get to 15 under.

An had also birdied the seventh and when he added another on the ninth he was sneaking up on the leaders, as was Wiesberger with birdies on the eighth and tenth.

Aphibarnrat and Kaymer both took advantage of the par five eighth, as did Hatton, Johnson and Larrazábal, but Kaymer then dropped a shot on the ninth after a poor chip.

An was having no such problems around the greens and holed out for the second time in his round on the tenth to get to 14 under, with Larrazábal making a birdie on the ninth.

Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood and Jeunghun Wang were alongside Burmester, Hatton and Stenson at 12 under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FLEETWOOD, TommyENG18-17
T2JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-16
T2LARRAZÁBAL, PabloESP18-16
T4WIESBERGER, BerndAUT18-15
T4APHIBARNRAT, KiradechTHA18-15
T4KAYMER, MartinGER18-15

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