Fisher pulls level with Pieters as McIlroy, Fleetwood lurk in Abu Dhabi

By Ben Spratt 20 January 2018 2
Fisher pulls level with Pieters as McIlroy, Fleetwood lurk in Abu Dhabi

Ross Fisher joined Thomas Pieters at the top of a star-studded leaderboard heading into the final day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with Rory McIlroy their nearest rival.

A five-under round on Saturday had looked to be enough for Pieters to retain a one-shot lead at 17 under, but Fisher kept his cool to birdie the final hole for a 65 and reel the Belgian in.

McIlroy is a shot back after matching Fisher's seven-under score on the third day, despite finally recording his first bogey of the tournament at the 15th.

Tommy Fleetwood - the defending champion and last year's Race to Dubai winner - also remains in touch on 15 under alongside Matt Fitzpatrick, who made nine birdies in his first 12 holes on his way to a stunning 63.

It was a miserable day for Jorge Campillo, though, as he tumbled from second to joint 17th courtesy of a level-par 72.

After ending Saturday in a share of the lead, an upbeat Fisher said: "It was another good day. Obviously it's great fun getting out with Thomas; it's the third day in a row, a lot of fun, a lot of banter.

"I was just trying to hang on. I felt like I played solid. The conditions got very windy and 17 and 18 were playing very tough."

Pieters was satisfied with his play from tee to green, but said: "I missed a lot of putts today."

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Ben Spratt