Rolex Series

Jamieson keeps his nose in front in Abu Dhabi

Scott Jamieson will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the 2022 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship but he will have a host of Ryder Cup stars breathing down his neck at Yas Links.

Scott Jamieson

The long-time leader was leapfrogged by Shane Lowry and Thomas Pieters as the playing partners matched each other with bogey-free rounds of 67 but Jamieson birdied the 15th and last to sign for a 68 and edge back in front at 11 under at the first Rolex Series event of the season.

Lowry's fellow 2020 Ryder Cup rookie Viktor Hovland was at eight under alongside Shubhankar Sharma, a shot clear of two more Ryder Cup players in Pieters' 2016 team-mate Rafa Cabrera Bello and Ian Poulter, with James Morrison also four shots off the lead.

Scotsman Jamieson had set the pace with a 63 on day one and stayed ahead as he carded a 74 in Friday's treacherous windy conditions.

The pressure was ramped up on day three as Lowry - winner of this event and The Open Championship in 2019 - and his fellow five-time DP World Tour winner Pieters turned the screw but Jamieson kept a cool head as he looks for a second win of his own on Tour almost a decade after his first.

"It would be massive, a game-changer to win a tournament of this stature," he said. "There's definitely been some great champions here and there's an awful long way to go.

"All I can do is play whatever shot is in front of me - all those clichés, stay in the moment and just try and hit the best shot I can."

Norway's Hovland made a two-putt birdie from long range at the par-five second to join the lead and Lowry was also soon at seven under as he followed a two-putt from the fringe at the same hole with a near 30-foot putt on the fifth.

Jamieson had made a solid start but played a spectacular tee-shot at the par-three fourth, almost making an ace and holing from two feet to edge ahead.

Pieters birdied the first with a 15-footer from the fringe and added a two-putt from the collar at the par-five seventh to join the group at seven under but they were soon two back as Jamieson holed from 16 feet at the sixth.

The big-hitting Belgian then holed a 12-footer at the ninth to trim the lead back and Hovland joined him from 18 feet at the eighth.

Pieters was flying and made a two-putt birdie on the 11th to join the lead, with a Hovland bogey at the tenth after an uncharacteristic second that went just 21 yards and found the sand handing the leading duo a two-shot advantage.

It would be massive, a game changer to win a tournament of this stature

Lowry had missed good birdie chances at the seventh and 11th but the Irishman made one count from eight feet at the 12th to get to eight under where he was joined by the surging Sharma.

The Indian hit excellent approaches into the first and ninth to bookend a front nine of 34 that contained a double-bogey on the sixth after taking three off the tee and an eagle on the next from 33 feet.

He did well to take advantage of the 11th after a ragged tee-shot and then hit a beautiful approach into the 14th and holed a 20-footer on the next in a 67.

Jamieson made a smart up-and-down on the 11th to move back ahead, with Hovland doing the same to rejoin the group in third.

The leader gave that shot back on the 14th after a poor tee-shot and Pieters was alone at the top as he holed a 30-foot putt on the 16th.

He was not alone for long, however, as Lowry, who had played a beautiful approach to set up a gain on the 15th, followed him in from 13 feet.

Jamieson responded brilliantly to his bogey with a 19-foot putt on the 15th making it a three-way tie and Hovland moved within one as he holed from half the distance.

But they had contrasting fortunes on the last as Jamieson played a beautiful approach from a tough spot to set up a gain from 10 feet, while Hovland three-putted for a bogey and signed for a round of 70.

Spaniard Cabrera Bello holed an exquisite bunker shot on the 17th en route to a 69, with English duo Poulter and Morrison signing for rounds of 71 and 72 respectively.

Australian Major Champion Adam Scott and Italy's Andrea Pavan were at six under.

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