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Tommy Fleetwood crafted a third round 36-34=70 to hit the 54-hole mark of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on 12-under 203, tied second with Dustin Johnston, Martin Kaymer, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Pablo Larrazabal, one behind the leader Tyrrell Hatton.

The Englishman has been stoking the fire ever since returning to hid old coach back in July, the same time he took a friend on the bag. The changes reaped slow rewards that increased in tempo through the end of the year and don't look like slowing down meaning he has hopes of adding to his 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship title. His front nine Saturday was sticky, with a bogey-birdie brace at both 1 and 2, then 6 and 7. But a tidy back nine saw par breakers at 12 and 18. More importantly, although known for weak putting, he drained a 50'0" par saver at the 14th. If his form hinted at a good week, his course record didn't: he's 1-for-5 and had broken par just once in 12 rounds - something he's done three times this week.
Jan 21 - 8:19 AM

Martin Kaymer had to grind out a level-par 35-37=72 in the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship which left him T2 on 12-under 204, one behind leader Tyrrell Hatton and tied with Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Pablo Larrazabal.

It was a disappointing day for the three-time winner at the Abu Dhabi GC, who had never once failed to break par in the third round in the past (in eight weekend performances). It may also be of concern that, although he has twice pegged a final round 66 to win this event, he used 74 shots to claim the first win in 2008 and his last three Sunday efforts on the course read 74-75-71 (the middle of those being the infamous occassion he blew a mid-final round 10 shot lead). All in all there will be plenty to think about Saturday night. His third round suffered from a tendency to pull long shots. He made bogeys at 4, 10 and 11, getting the shots back at 5, 8 and 13. He could have joined Hatton in the lead playing the last, but a chip ran 12 feet by the hole and the putt never threatened the cup.
Jan 21 - 8:11 AM

A late burst saw Pablo Larrazabal complete a third round 3-under-par 35-34=69 which gained him a share of second on 12-under 204 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, one back of the leaders Tyrell Hatton and in a tie with Dustin Johnson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Tommy Fleetwood and Martin Kaymer.

The 2014 champion made the perfect start at the Abu Dhabi GC, holing from a greenside trap for birdie at the first – his third there this week – and although he made another at the 7th – another hat-trick for the week – it followed a bogey at six and he then got stuck in a rut of scratching pars. But he circled the 14th and then drained a superb 45’0" birdie putt on the 17th green which subtle broke in both directions before diving in the front of the hole. A par at the last was irksome – it was vulnerable to par breaking – but he’ll head into the final day confident of a good run at the title. He’s a two-time winner of the BMW International Open so has previous when it comes to laying an order for his name to be engraved twice on a trophy. If he has a weakness so far this week it is an inability to take advantage of the par fives: he carded 10 pars and just two birdies.
Jan 21 - 8:02 AM

Tyrell Hatton fired his way to the head of the field Saturday with a 4-under-par 36-32=68 which earned him the 54-hole lead in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on 13-under 203, one swing clear of Dustin Johnson, Pablo Larrazabal, Martin Kaymer, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Tommy Fleetwood.

The Englishman is beginning 2017 exactly as he ended 2016 – by contending a title in the United Arab Emirates. And whilst he came up one shot short of forcing Matt Fitzpatrick to a play-off in the DP World Tour Championship, he will have the chance to claim a second European Tour title on Sunday, albeit on a very bunched leaderboard at the Abu Dhabi GC. For seven holes of his third round it was refusing to happen, as he carded six pars and a bogey at the 4th. But a birdie-4 at the 8th saw him turn in level-par and he accelerated for home. He ticked 11, 13 and made it three in four with a 12’0" birdie putt at 14. He completed the job with a tap-in par breaker at the final hole. He’s held just one 54-hole lead on Tour, when three clear of the field at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He converted in style that week, tomorrow will be a tougher examination: there are 15 players within three shots of his lead.
Jan 21 - 7:58 AM

Dustin Johnson blitzed the course with an 8-under-par 31-33=64 to leap into contention at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship; his 12-under 204 was good for T1 on the live leaderboard as the third round action neared conclusion. EDIT:- Johnson ended the day in a five-way tie for second behind the 54-hole leader Tyrell Hatton. His 64 was the best of the day.

The World No. 3 was sensational on Saturday, completing a move of over 35 spots on the board when he signed his card. On the front nine he threw par breakers across the card: birdie-3s at 1, 3 and 6, before an eagle-3 at the 597-yard par-five 8th. On the back nine his red numbers all came in a rush at 15, 16 and 17, the last of those drained from 10'0". It's his lowest 18-hole score since the second round 63 he carded at Crooked Stick in September when winning the BMW Championship. As the leaders neared the clubhouse Johnson was in a tie for first with three other golfers, with another six tied second. Standout feature of the week has been Johnson's inability to make in-roads at the par-fives. Saturday's eagle at the 8th is his only par breaker so far, to sit alongside 11 pars.
Jan 21 - 7:18 AM

Phil Mickelson torched the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA WEST with a 6-under-par 32-34=66 during round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, landing on 10-under 134 heading into the weekend four shots off the pace.

Lefty split just eight (of 14) fairways and found a mediocre 12 greens in regulation. For the second straight day his short game carried him across the finish line. Most notable was an eagle splash at the par-5 11th early in his round and then a hole-out birdie from the greenside bunker at the par-4 first, just after the turn. Mickelson arrived as a big question mark given his recent hernia surgeries, but he's answering in a big way through two days. Fatigue often plays a big part of rust when a golfer returns to action, so it will be interesting to watch how Lefty finishes out over the weekend.
Jan 20 - 6:07 PM

Playing the Nicklaus Tournament Course, World No. 137 Jon Rahm smoothed a bogey-free 6-under-par 34-32=66 in the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge to reach 7-under 137, up 58 places to T21.

The 22-year-old opened his tournament debut with an up-and-down 1-under 71 at La Quinta Country Club on six (of 14) fairways and 12 green in regulation, going 1-for-5 in sand saves. Day 2, which began off No. 10 tee, brought better results, carding six birdies on 10 (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation. He circled Nos. 10, 13, 14, 18, 2 and 3, and went 2-for-2 in sand saves
Jan 20 - 5:55 PM

Harold Varner III took a step back in round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, settling for a 2-under-par 36-34=70 while taking on the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA WEST, arriving at the midpoint on 9-under 135, good for T9 on the leaderboard.

HV3 rocketed out to a 7-under 65 on day one, winning the battle with La Quinta Country Club. He pelted 16 greens on day one but found just 11 today. That difference (5) happens to be the difference in scoring, day-over-day, as well. Today's round will slide him down in the pecking order, seven spots. HV3 has positioned himself inside the top 10 on six past occasions and converted three of those into top 10s come Sunday. The ECU product is five off the pace heading into the weekend but he's still very much in the picture.
Jan 20 - 5:44 PM

Playing the Stadium Course, World No. 323 Bud Cauley crafted a bogey-free 5-under-par 33-34=67 in the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge for a two-day tally of 8-under 136, up 21 spots to T13 with play still in progress.

The 26-year-old is making his fifth appearance with a best of T14 last year (72-65-66-68). He kicked off with nine birdies on the Nicklaus Tournament Course but took a lot of luster off with four bogeys and a double bogey-6. The Floridian found nine (of 14) fairways in R2 and pelted 16 greens in regulation, gaining 5.027 strokes tee-to-green but losing 1.088 strokes with the flat stick, most notably a whiffed birdie try at the par-4 15th from 35 inches.
Jan 20 - 5:20 PM

Danny Lee won the battle with La Quinta Country Club in round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, styling a bogey-free, 8-under-par 32-32=64 to match the low round of the day and arrive at the midpoint on 13-under 131, one stroke off the lead.

The Kiwi arrived with nothing better than a T50 in his last seven starts but some pre-tournament prep at PGA WEST is paying dividends so far. Lee made the most of his opening round at the difficult Stadium Course, circling seven birdies to go with a pair of bogeys. He moved over to an easy La Quinta CC today, and took advantage of the easier opportunity. Lee pelted 14 greens in regulation and took 24 putts on the day. Lee has some sour memories here at PGA WEST as he missed out on regaining his TOUR card at Q-School by one stroke back in 2012. A strong finish this week would go along way toward erasing those memories forever.
Jan 20 - 5:13 PM

Playing the Stadium Course, World No. 150 Martin Laird painted a bogey-free 6-under-par 33-33=66 in today's second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge to post 10-under 134, up 19 places to T6 with play still in progress.

The 34-year-old is making his 10th consecutive appearance and began with an up-and-down 4-under 68 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course that included and eagle-2 at the 10th. Beginning off No. 10 tee in R2, he holed out for another eagle-2, this one from 130 yards out and added a conventional-2 at the par-3 eighth (from 7'11"). The Scottsdale resident banged home a 39-footer for birdie at the par-4 second, circled birdie-3 at the third from the fringe (16'8"), and completed his scoring with a 4-footer for birdie at the par-5 eighth. At last glance, he gained 4.323 strokes tee-to-green on 10 (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation.
Jan 20 - 5:01 PM

Battling La Quinta Country Club, overnight leader Dominic Bozzelli coasted to a bogey-free, 5-under-par 33-34=67 during round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, reaching 13-under 131 to find himself one off the pacesetter Hudson Swafford.

The PGA TOUR rookie showed no sign of nerves, despite holding his first lead on TOUR after day one. The Auburn product split just six (of 14) fairways and landed just 11 greens in regulation, but he remained composed while finding a way to maintain a clean card by day's end. The highlight of the round came at the par-4 10th where Bozzelli chipped in for birdie from just off the green. The 25-year-old is still bogey-free at the midpoint, and he'll turn his attention toward the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Saturday.
Jan 20 - 4:58 PM

Playing the Stadium Course, World No. 136 Brian Harman spun a 7-under-par 33-32=65 in the second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, currently T3 on the leaderboard and two shy of 36-hole clubhouse leader Hudson Swafford.

The Georgian is making his fifth appearance and celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday (Jan. 19th) with a 5-under 67 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course, highlighted by an eagle at the par-4 fifth. He squared a lone bogey-5 today at the seventh (failed scramble), but overshadowed it with eight birdies, including three straight on holes 11-13. Harman landed 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, posting a stellar 1.429 putts per GIR and 5.172 in SG: Putting. His split featured four birdies from between 11 and 20 feet and is currently up eight spots on the round.
Jan 20 - 4:46 PM

Brendan Steele fired the low round of the day while taking on the Nicklaus Tournament Course in round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge, signing for a bogey-free, 8-under-par 32-32=64 to reach 12-under 132 on the week, placing him two strokes off the pace set by Hudson Swafford.

The SoCal native is taking full advantage of his local knowledge of the California desert. Steele was firing from the get-go, rolling in back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th to open his round. Tee-to-green, he didn't impress with just 12 greens in regulation, but his putting was superb to help him go 6-for-6 scrambling. Steele needed just 21 putts to make his way around the Nicklaus Tournament Course, a nine-putt improvement day-over-day. Perhaps adding to his confidence this week, Steele already has a win in California this season (Safeway Open). He had to battle the rain that week, as well. This round goes in the books as his lowest round of the new campaign, previously posting a 65 in R4 of that previously mentioned Safeway Open win.
Jan 20 - 4:44 PM

Playing La Quinta Country Club, World No. 97 Charles Howell III carded a 4-under-par 35-33=68 in today's second round of the CareerBuilder Challenge for a two-day total of 9-under 135, up three places on the live leaderboard to T8.

The 37-year-old opened his 12th appearance with a bogey-free 5-under 67 on the Stadium Course and began R2 off No. 10 tee. He circled birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 17 before giving two back with back-to-back bogeys at 1 and 2. The Oklahoma State product rebounded with three more birdies on holes 4, 6 and 9, completing his lap with eight (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation.
Jan 20 - 4:33 PM


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