Feb 4th, 2017
Sergio holds on at Dubai Desert Classic
With a three–shot lead
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Sergio Garcia holds a three–shot lead at the end of moving day at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Sergio had a three-shot lead after signing for a 67 in the morning when he completed his wind delayed round, but he could only make the turn in level par 35.
Garcia's lead was immediately cut to two as he found a bunker with his second shot on the first and could not make his par putt, despite a beautiful bunker shot.
But he came straight back with a birdie on the second to regain his cushion.
Garcia and playing partner Coetzee then parred their way to the turn, before Sergio bagged birdies on the 10th, 11th and 13th.
He dropped a shot on the par 3 15th, but finished with two final birdies on the 17th and 18th to card a 68, and go into the final day with a three–hole lead over Henrik Stenson.
Stenson shot a 5 under 67, which included a solitary bogey on the par 4 sixth.
Ian Poulter also deserves a mention in dispatches after this shank attack on day one. He shot a 5 under 67, and he’s now T3, five shots back off the leader.
Tyrrell Hatton was the clubhouse leader at nine under after a fantastic round of 65. He eagled the 17th to start a run where he picked up eight shots in 11 holes before a three-putt bogey on the ninth.
Grégory Bourdy also made the fifth hole-in-one of the season as he aced the 11th from 155 yards with an eight iron.
So has Sergio done enough? Three shots is a tidy cushion, but he’s going to have to properly grind it out if he is going to keep Stenson at bay. It would be Sergio’s first win since the 2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, so it’s just over three years since he last tasted out–and –out victory on the European Tour.