Gallacher grabs 3-shot lead in Dubai



ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Sunday 3 February 2013

Last update 3 February 2013 12:46 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

DUBAI: Stephen Gallacher shot a 10-under 62 yesterday to grab a three-shot lead at the Dubai Desert Classic and break a three-round scoring record set by Tiger Woods 12 years ago.
The 111th-ranked Scotsman, who just missed out on a playoff last year in Dubai, is looking for his first European Tour win since 2004. Gallacher holed a 25-yard bunker shot on the 18th for an eagle to finish with a 21-under total of 195 in rare rainy and overcast conditions in the desert. That improved on Woods’ tournament mark by a shot and just missed tying the course record of 61 set in 1994 by Ernie Els.
“It’s the best round I’ve had,” Gallacher said. “I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could.”
Overnight leader Richard Sterne (66) tried to keep pace with the Scotsman, sinking long birdie putts on the eighth and 11th holes and then a 45-footer from the fringe on No. 15. Thorbjorn Olesen (67) finished five shots behind Gallacher in third place, after he struggled off the tee and had two bogeys on the back nine — his first of the tournament.
A shot behind Sterne at the halfway mark, Gallacher moved into a share of the lead after carding two early birdies and then went alone atop the leaderboard with a birdie on No. 5. With Sterne, Olesen and England’s Tommy Fleetwood (69) close behind, Gallacher made his move on the back nine with two birdies in the first three holes. He shot an eagle on the 13th after his 173-yard approach shot hit the pin and stopped two feet from the hole for the easy putt.
Gallacher then had four straight pars before another eagle on the last after his inspired bunker shot.
“Came out perfect and obviously it went in, a great way to finish,” Gallacher said.
Gallacher missed a birdie putt on the 18th last year that would have forced a playoff with eventual winner Rafael Cabrera-Bello and settled for second. But he is in the running to end his nine-year drought on the tour that dates back to his win at the Dunhill Links Championship where he beat Graeme McDowell in a playoff.
“It would be great to know that you can do it again. I’ve certainly been playing better the last three or four years,” the 38-year-old Gallacher said. “I’ve had a lot of close shaves, a couple of seconds last year, second the year before ... It is tough to win but if you’ve done it before, you can do it again.”
Despite losing the lead, Sterne said he was “happy” with his round that included seven birdies and only an opening bogey. A five-time winner on the European Tour, the 165th-ranked Sterne hasn’t won since 2009 mostly due to back problems that sidelined him for much of 2010 and ‘11.
“I’ve given myself a chance going into tomorrow, in the last group again which will be hopefully a lot of fun and put some good scores on there and put some pressure on Stephen,” said Sterne, who opened with a 62 on Thursday. “I’m a bit more comfortable perhaps not leading going into the last round as you can see by my history. Just got to hole a couple good putts at the right time again.”
Olesen, who joined Nike this year alongside Rory McIlroy and won his first tournament last year, at times look upset with himself on the back nine. The Dane badly missed several fairways with his drive and then three-putted on 16 for one of two bogeys before finishing with one of his seven birdies on the 18th.

“It was a pretty good day but I was hoping for something more,” the 23-year-old Olesen said. “I thought I could have made a few more birdies.”
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar (66) and Jeev Milkha Singh (67) of India are tied for fourth, seven shots off the pace. The 95th-ranked Singh surged into contention early when he holed a lob wedge from 68 yards for eagle on the 2nd and then birdied the next hole. He cooled down after that, carding only two more birdies.
Eighth-ranked Lee Westwood shot a 66 to move into sole possession of ninth. Like his horse Rerouted that came from behind Thursday to win its race in Dubai on Thursday, the Englishman said he felt an outside chance of catching the leaders. He finished second last year.
“I felt like I needed to start strong to make up some ground,” said Westwood, who opened with two birdies on his first four holes and finished with two birdies in a row.
“I’ve come off with a nice 30-footer at 17 and on 18 the eagle putt was right on line,” he said. “So that sort of stuff can give you momentum for the next day.”
Fourteenth-ranked Sergio Garcia struggled at times with a nagging shoulder injury, shooting 71 to fall into a tie for 19th.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

MADINAH/JEDDAH: Pilgrims and visitors performing tawaf (circumambulation) of the Holy Kaaba or praying around it may look forward to relief from the blazing sun, as a proposal to shade the Mataf area is being studied.According to local media, the mat...
JEDDAH: Users of WhatsApp were a joyous lot on Saturday as the call facility finally became available on the popular messaging service in the Kingdom.The facility, which is for free now, through WhatsApp was earlier banned in Saudi Arabia and only me...
TAIF: Terrorists can carry out reconnaissance missions in the guise of beggars, even wearing the abaya, and pose a serious threat to the security of the nation, an expert has warned.“Begging is a bad phenomenon anyway. However, it can pose a serious...
RIYADH: A Border Guard soldier died on Saturday in a missile attack from across the Yemeni border in Dhahran Al-Jonoub in Asir.The man, identified as Pvt. Abdulilah Abdullah Hamoud Al-Shahrani, was patrolling the border in the area when the attack to...
RIYADH: Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman takes pride in his religion and his country, according to Prince Sultan bin Salman, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) chairman.“King Salman lives his life in a confident and re...
RIYADH: Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani and Khaled Al-Muhaisin, the president of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha), are scheduled to meet soon to clear resolve differences between Nazaha and Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). According...
JEDDAH: Starbucks has clarified that the ban on women’s entry at one of its Riyadh stores is only temporary and that the coffee shop will be opened to them soon after a separation wall is erected.Starbucks reportedly said that members of the Committe...
RIYADH: The Saudi government is strongly supporting the development of organic farming and institutional capacity building as part of an ambitious plan to expand the Kingdom’s shift toward organic agriculture, which will be good for the country’s nut...
RIYADH: An attempt to smuggle in 2.4 million amphetamine pills was foiled along the coast of Tabuk.An Interior Ministry spokesman said the traffickers fled from the coast after they were chased by Border Guard patrols.The spokesman said a suspect boa...
RIYADH: King Saud University (KSU) closed the booths of five companies which participated in the recently concluded five-day Career Week because of lack of interest in employing applicants.Career Week, held under the auspices of Custodian of Two Holy...
RIYADH: The Kingdom has been developing Oroug Bani Maradh as a protected area for eco-tourism in the heart of the Empty Quarter.Aside from a number of live flora and fauna, there’s are non-domesticated animal species in the wildlife sanctuary located...
JEDDAH: Two women and three children, including an infant, lost their lives in separate fire incidents on Friday.A woman and two children died when their tent caught fire at Al-Issawi, 35 km into the desert, on Friday. The operations room of Civil De...
RIYADH: Arrangements are being made at the Ministry of Health to open a new portal for the Zika virus on its website.Faisal Al-Zahrani, the ministry spokesman, said that the new portal will give adequate details and updates about the virus which has...
ARAR: A Saudi father has urged his two sons to immediately surrender, after their names recently appeared on the list of suspects who participated in the terror attack on the Special Emergency Forces Mosque in Asir in August last year.Salem Yaslam Al...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Education has called on schools to implement a national anti-drug plan and given a four-month period to implement the plan and report the results.Educational directorates, according to a recent circular, have issued a directiv...

Stay Connected

Facebook