nsucurrent.com May 21, 2018

Johnson, McIlroy vault into contention in Abu Dhabi

21 January 2018, 12:28 | Nina Perez

Dustin Johnson is Wrong About Not Limiting Golf Ball

European Tour: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship power rankings

The world number 11 is now nine under par and just three shots behind leader Thomas Pieters, who carded a second round 65.

Murphy shook off nerves before stepping up and slamming a 3-wood into the 177-yard, par-3 15th hole at Abu Dhabi Golf Club during a Beat the Pro challenge. "I probably scored a bit better today, short game was needed as well, but I hit the ball very well, so all in all it was another great round and confidence builder, not just for this week but obviously for the rest of the season as well".

Stephen Gallacher matched Rory McIlroy's eagle finish the previous day to climb up the leaderboard in the third round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

"Winning would mean a lot".

"But for me, it's been a really solid week so far".

"I felt like I gave myself tons of chances on the back nine and it was sort of hard to convert them", McIlroy said.

"I think I'm definitely a bit sharper as a result of coming out here at the end of December", admitted the three-time European Tour victor. If I had a wedge, I went at the flag and I think I got up-and-down or made birdie with a wedge in my hand three or four times.

"We've not made many plans so we'll see where the night takes us, but I'm sure it won't take us very far".

"It was nice to hole one on the last after two bad shots", Pieters said of his birdie on the last hole to put him at 12-under 132 in the European Tour event. Felt like I gave myself tons of chances on the back nine.

Dougherty: You said there that the weather is meant to change a bit tomorrow, we've had ideal weather up until this point, the wind is going to blow, is that something you would relish?

Rory McIlroy need not have bothered to tell reporters that he is feeling "rejuvenated and refocused". It's another season, a season that I feel like I'm as prepared for as any season I've started as a professional.

The 25-year-old opened the tournament with an impressive 69 to put himself into early contention for the lion's share of the €2 507 520 purse, but an incoherent display on day two saw him drifting away from the leading pack. I'm happy with my game, and that's just what I've got to go out and do tomorrow.

"I just didn't make any but I battled the whole day and it was nice to make a birdie at the last".

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