Martin Kaymer’s bid for a second Abu Dhabi Golf Championship title gathered pace today as the German moved into sole possession of a one shot third round lead.
Last year’s runner-up made light work of the front nine of The National Course with five birdies to open up a brief two stroke lead before blotting his scorecard with a bogey to slip back to 14-under-par midway through his back nine.
Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Alvaro Quiros and Peter Hanson led the chasing pack with overnight leader Rick Kulacz, Shane Lowry and Chris Wood a further shot off the pace.
Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen, who finished tied for second with Kaymer 12 months ago, joined clubhouse leader Thongchai Jaidee at 10-under-par.
The Thai, last year’s Asian Tour number one, carded a bogey-free five-under-par 67 to make his move up the leaderboard with his first flawless round of the week.
Kaymer admits he feels at home at Abu Dhabi Golf Club following his wire-to-wire victory in 2008 with The National Course baring similarities to his practice course in Arizona.
And the 25-year-old make a flying start to his third circuit with a hat-trick of birdies to top the leaderboard alongside Hanson before reaching the turn in a bogey-free 33 with a brace of gains to finish.
Kaymer’s fourth dropped shot of the week arrived at the 11th but he was able to steady himself to maintain his lead with a run of solid pars with his nearest competitors unable to take full advantage.