Lee Westwood (Getty Images)
An assured Lee Westwood extended his lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a fine start to his final round.
One clear at the summit of a congested leaderboard overnight, the Englishman rolled in a lengthy eagle putt from off the front of the green at the second to reach 17 under.
After four holes, he held a two-shot advantage over Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who had briefly shared the lead after birdieing the second prior to Westwood’s spectacular eagle, and Marcel Siem.
Joel Sjöholm and Stephen Gallacher were a shot further back on a breezy day in the Middle East, but Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy were in danger of being left behind.
Kaymer carved out presentable birdie chances on the opening three holes, only to fail with the putter on each occasion. A two at the short fourth boosted the German’s spirits, but he then bogeyed the fifth after missing another putt he would expect to make.
McIlroy - who could lose his World Number Two ranking to Westwood this week - was also unable to make up ground and looked to be slipping out of contention.
He three-putted the first from distance to drop back to 12 under, and displayed frustration after missing an opportunity to get the shot back with a six-footer at the par five third.