Lewis pulls clear at Abu Dhabi Challenge

Tom Lewis will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Abu Dhabi Challenge after he posted an impressive four under par third round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

As the temperature climbed in Abu Dhabi, so did the Englishman, moving to 17 under par following a round of 68 on the National Course, two clear of Dubai resident Joshua Grenville-Wood who sits in second on 15 under.

The two-time DP World Tour winner carded three birdies and one bogey on his front nine to make the turn at two under par for the day, before two more birdies coming in put him in pole position ahead of the final round, where he will aim to pick up a second European Challenge Tour title.

“I’m pleased with my round today,” he said. “I haven’t played three rounds of golf in a long time, so it’s nice to get out here and finish strong today.

“There’s always a period of your round that’s going to be a bit of a struggle. I definitely had that, and I felt a bit of pressure out there from myself, but I think it’s important for me to continue with what I’m doing tomorrow.”

The 2011 Walker Cup player recorded a top ten finish at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, one of the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series events, and he was able to use course experience to his advantage during the third round.

“The wind swirled a lot today,” he said. “I felt everything was into the breeze all the time. I had a few yardages that I didn’t feel too comfortable with, so I had to manufacture a few distances and I managed my game well. The weather is very hot, but it’s great to be here and I’m pleased with what I did today.

“I holed some good putts, missed a couple, but tomorrow’s going to be another good day hopefully. I’m going to make some mistakes but hopefully I can make some birdies too.

“It helps having a two shot lead but it can turn around in one hole. I’m looking to go out and be under par on the front nine and be under par on the back nine, because if that doesn’t do the job, I’ll still be happy with what I’ve done this week.”

Five-time Challenge Tour winner Ricardo Gouveia posted a six under par round of 66 to move into third place alongside Spain’s Ivan Cantero Gutierrez and South African Wilco Nienaber on 13 under par.

South African Brandon Stone occupies sixth place on 11 under par, while Welshman Stuart Manley, England’s Steven Brown and Frenchman Tom Vaillant are a shot further back in seventh.

Local golf coach Louis Gaughan, who secured an invite from the EGF after winning the Emirates PGA Championship last week, jumped up to a share of 49th after posting a two under par 70.

The back-to-back events in Abu Dhabi have been made possible due to the long-term partnership between the European Tour group and the Emirates Golf Federation, in addition to the support of the host venues Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, along with sponsors ARENA, Phoenix Capital and Al Laith.

The final round will get under way at 6:45am local time, with Lewis teeing it up in the final group alongside Grenville-Wood and Gouveia at 8:45am.

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