Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher caught fire on Saturday Afternoon with something rarely seen in the desert, rain, and shot a -10 under par 62 on the Emirates Golf Course in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to take a three shot lead over first two round leader, Richard Sterne. Gallacher, who shot a mediocre -2 under par on Friday, started his assault on the par 72 layout with birdies at the second, third, fifth and ninth holes, making the turn in 31. He picked up two eagles on the back nine at both of the par fives to close it with an identical 31 in his bogey free round.
The 39-year-old journeyman who turned pro in 1995 has one win on the European Tour, and was born in Dechmont, Scotland, makes his residence in Linlithgow, Scotland, won the 2004 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship against Graeme McDowell. Gallacher has had health issues throughout his career with a debilitating viral infection, sarcoidosis, which attacked his lungs and joints. He is currently ranked 111th in the world, and 139 in Race To Dubai points.
Richard Sterne, who led both of the first two rounds, shot a respectful -6 under 66 on the day, but is now three strokes off the pace at 18 under par. He bogeyed the first hole, but righted the ship en-route to his 66 on Saturday.
Thorbjorn Olesen stumbled a bit on the back nine, but after his Friday charge, posted a -5 under 67 to retain sole possession of third place, two strokes behind Sterne, and five strokes off the -21 under par lead. Olesen has a two shot advantage over three golfers tied for fourth place that include Felipe Aguilar from Chilie, Jeev Milkha Singh from India and Brit Tommy Fleetwood. Aguilar shot a 66 on Saturday, Singh and Fleetwood have hung around the leader board all week.
Lee Westwood, who is playing in his first 2013 tournament, fired a -6 under 66 in the third round, and moved up 17 positions, he is alone in ninth place. The world’s No. 8 player made only one bogey on Saturday, that coming on the back nine at the 14th hole.
Sergio Garcia had a bad day, shooting a 71 in the third round. He is having problems with his shoulder, and dropped 11 spots into tie for 19th place.
Americans Todd Hamilton and Mark O’Meara both made the 36 hole cut. Hamilton shot a -1 under 71 in the third round, and the 59-year-old O’Meara shot 71. Hamilton is at a -8 under total in a tie at 31st place, and O’Meara is at -4 under tied for 59th place. Ben Curtis did not make the cut.
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