DeChambeau holds one-shot lead in Dubai

American Bryson DeChambeau holds a one-shot lead ahead of the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The world number five, who began the day’s play at Emirates Golf Club as joint leader, rolled in two birdies in the final four holes to card a four-under-par 68.

He is now one shot clear of defending champion, China’s Li Haotong, with England’s Matt Wallace and four-time major winner Ernie Els three shots off the pace in a tie for third.

DeChambeau, who has never won outside of America, carded successive bogeys at the seventh and eighth holes, only to strike back with consecutive birdies.

He then sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the 13th before additional birdies at the 15th and 17th saw him finish up on 16-under par.

“I can’t express to you how awesome it would be to win on the European Tour,” said the 25-year-old, who has six career victories.

“I’m still leading, obviously. It’s fantastic. I couldn’t be displeased with that but my expectation levels are for how I know I can perform, and I feel like I’m under-performing a little bit.

“I’m still in the lead, still got the job done. I made it happen when necessary and hopefully I can have one more of those days and maybe even a better-ball striking day.”

Wallace began his round with a bogey at the par-four second hole, but birdied the next, before making up three further shots on the back nine to card a 69.

“It is good to get the season started off, the juices flowing, and being in contention,” he told Sky Sports. “Hopefully I will have a chance tomorrow.”

Wallace will play alongside Els, the 49-year-old who is ranked a lowly 527th in the world, in the concluding round.

Els has not won since 2013, but at the scene of his first European Tour title victory 25 years ago remained in the hunt with a birdie at 18 to complete a bogey-free card of 70.

Elsewhere, English duo Jordan Smith and Matthew Fitzpatrick are five shots off the lead on 11 under par, while Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood and Andrew Johnson are one further back.

- Press Association


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