Shane Lowry will bid to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for a second time after grasping a share of the lead on day three at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.
The Irishman posted a six under par round of 66, which included a hole-out eagle at the par four sixth, to reach 13 under par and he is joined on that number by overnight co-leader Francesco Molinari and Australian Min Woo Lee, who also posted a round of 66 on moving day.
In near perfect conditions, Lowry started well in making the turn at five under par, but found it trickier to make the putts drop on the back nine, birdieing the 15th before responding to his only dropped shot of the day at the 17th with a closing birdie as he bids for a second Falcon Trophy following his 2019 triumph.
Lee, Lowry and Molinari will comprise the final group at the season-opening Rolex Series event with the Irishman and the Italian facing off for the second Sunday in succession after they led out their respective teams in the Singles at last week’s Hero Cup. The leading trio are one stroke clear of Scotland’s Grant Forrest, Frenchman Victor Perez and Sweden’s Sebastian Söderberg, who share fourth on 12 under par and are all chasing their maiden Rolex Series wins.
Pádraig Harrington, who would become the oldest winner in DP World Tour history should he triumph on Sunday, shares seventh place alongside Adrian Meronk, Guido Migliozzi and Antoine Rozner on 11 under par, two shots off the lead.
Lowry said: “It’s my first tournament of the year, so you don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s nice to go out on a Saturday, in tricky conditions coming in on the back nine, and to put myself in contention. Tomorrow I’ve got a chance to go out there and do something special, so hopefully I can bring the game that I brought the last few days and roll a few putts in as well and you never know.”