Last-hole eagle boost for Stephen Gallacher in Abu Dhabi

Clyde Nash
January 21, 2018

Briton Ross Fisher and Belgian Thomas Pieters shared the lead after Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship third round on Saturday, with four-times major victor Rory McIlroy trailing by a shot.

McIlroy, who revealed a week ago that he sustained heart damage due to a viral infection in 2016, posted scores of 69 and 66, and heads into the weekend just three shots behind tournament leader Thomas Pieters.

McIlroy has an impressive record at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, with four second-placed finishes to his name and added that he would love to go one better this year.

Stephen Gallacher matched Rory McIlroy's eagle finish the previous day to climb up the leaderboard in the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

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"It would mean a lot". McIlroy expounded on the comment, saying "Every round I play here I feel like he's my little mascot".

"I think I finished the season with ten straight top-10s, and that's not been done by me and probably not been done by many", said the reigning Olympic champion.

The game's best-known driver of the golf ball has no interest in hitting it any shorter. I've been working hard on the game, but the golf swing feels like it's finally getting back to where it was.

Pressed about that posture change, he added: "It wasn't much, just moving the ball position a bit, but it certainly made a difference".

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Gallacher came out early to the UAE to prepare for both this event and next week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the tournament he won back-to-back in 2013 and 2014.

Greystones native Dunne catapulted 11 positions up the leaderboard with an excellent round of 65 to leave him four back of the lead, now held by the impressive Belgian, Thomas Pieters and Ross Fisher on -17. It's felt like a while since I've won and just to give myself these chances; I gave myself a chance at the end of the year at Close House and wasn't able to do it. Paul Dunne played too well for me.

Rory McIlroy need not have bothered to tell reporters that he is feeling "rejuvenated and refocused".

"I felt really comfortable, really relaxed out there". What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder?

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McIlroy is a four-time runner-up in Abu Dhabi and hopes to finally go one better on Sunday. "When I was back at the Open Championship at Birkdale, just the reception there, playing in front of a home crowd, I knew this is something I just miss".

Other reports by Info About Network

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