Danny Willett leads Dubai Desert Classic by one shot
By Camilla Tait
Last Updated: 07/02/16 4:01pm
Danny Willett leads by a single shot heading into the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic, after scoring his second consecutive round of 65 at the Emirates Golf Club.
The Englishman carded six birdies and an eagle to hold a narrow lead over Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who is one of 11 players that lie within six shots of the lead.
Cabrera-Bello, who held the clubhouse lead at the halfway stage of the tournament, surged ahead early on after holing out from a bunker to eagle the third before sinking a 30-foot birdie on the fourth.
Neither man was without mistakes, and bogeys from Cabrera-Bello on the seventh and Willett on the 12th had them tied at 13 under par with Andy Sullivan.
Willett went in front alone after holing a 30-foot eagle putt on the 13th, and one more birdie on the 17th was enough to ensure he was the overnight leader.
Cabrera-Bello was unable to convert an opportunity at the last and stayed one back, while Andy Sullivan finished the day on 14 under.
The 2012 Dubai Desert Classic champion Cabrera-Bello said that he believes it is still all to play for on the final day.
"Lots of players are not far off the lead and all of them are going to have a chance tomorrow [Sunday] and they are definitely as hungry as I am, if not more", he said. "So I just have to play my best, stay positive, and try to make lots of birdies."
Defending champion Rory McIlroy equalled the lowest back-nine score of the tournament with an impressive 31, but will begin Sunday's round eight shots adrift and admitted it would be difficult to catch up.
Also in contention are Chris Wood and Scott Hend at 11 under par. Wood shot 69 despite missing four birdie putts in a row, but it was Scott Hend who had the most impressive end to the day. The Australian completed the final holes eagle-birdie-birdie-par-birdie-birdie to end with a 66.
South African Hadyn Porteous also shot a four-under-par round of 66, and sits one behind Joost Luiten.
It was a frustrating day for four-time major champion Ernie Els, who had begun the day only one off the lead after a bogey-free 67 on Friday. Three bogeys and a double saw him drop to tied-28th and finish the day at seven under par following a two-over 74.
Watch the Dubai Desert Classic throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf. Final round coverage gets underway on Sunday from 8am.