After playing the first two rounds at The Dubai Dessert Classic partnered with Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy, Stephen Gallacher absolutely lit up the back nine on Saturday to grab a two-shot lead at the Emirates Golf Course. Gallacher carded a -9 under par 63 for his round, but signed for a 28 on the back. He will start the final round on Sunday with McIlroy.
The only two holes that the 39 year-old Scot didn’t birdie on the back nine Saturday were the 13th, and 14th. He eagled 13, and made his only par at 14. The defending champ shot even par on the front nine with a bogey at eight, and a birdie at nine.
Asked to explain the change in fortunes, Gallacher said: “I don’t really know to be honest. It was quite a struggle to start with, especially the first three holes.
“I was not quite right but if you stay patient and keep focused it’s amazing what this game throws up.
Gallacher was the third wheel during the first two rounds in the featured group with Tiger, and Rory, and watched McIlroy put up a 63 of his own on Thursday.
Rory McIlroy had a pretty average round on Friday, and appeared to be having some stomach problems. He still didn’t look great on Saturday, but hung in with a -3 under 69. He made a bogey at the first hole again, and with an eagle at the third hole, made the turn at one under par.
McIlroy made two birdies on the back nine(the easier of the two nines) and got in the clubhouse with minimal damage. He will be paired with the leader for the finale, and says he is starting to feel better.
The Heart and Soul of Rory’s game is his driver, and that has let him down over the past tow rounds. He indicated after his round on Saturday that he was feeling much better, and would be visiting the range to work out his problems.
“I bogeyed the first again but birdied two and eagled three which was great.
“I didn’t drive the ball particularly well, I’m probably going to work on a few things on the range and I felt like I hit a lot of good putts that just didn’t go in.
“I felt like I left a few out there but it was a tricky day and shooting anything under 70 wasn’t a bad score. Obviously Stephen had a phenomenal round, 63 today is a really impressive effort.”
Tiger Woods continues to struggle with his driver, but was able to make up some ground on Saturday. Tiger shot a two under par 70, but at -5 under, remains eleven strokes off the lead, and for all practical purposes just working on his game.
The world’s number one player appears to be getting the rust off of his game, but still needs to work on his alignment. He has no confidence in his tee shots, and often uses his three wood on tight holes. The 3 wood leaves him in a position where he can’t make any mistakes, and that’s a tough task for anyone. Including Tiger Woods!
Source: European Tour.com
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