Saturday, January 21st, 2017
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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Saturday, January 21st, 2017

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Fleetwood eyeing second European Tour win 01-21-2017
Tommy Fleetwood
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.
Kaymer stumbles but still T2nd in Abu Dhabi 01-21-2017
Martin Kaymer
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.
2014 champ Larrazabal 2nd in Abu Dhabi HSBC 01-21-2017
Pablo Larrazabal
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.
Hatton holds 54-hole lead in Abu Dhabi HSBC 01-21-2017
Tyrrell Hatton
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.
Dustin Johnson races into A.Dhabi contention 01-21-2017
Dustin Johnson
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. 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.