Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship R3

McIlroy poised for maiden Rolex Series victory in Abu Dhabi

January 21-24
Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
$8,000,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4


Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 2021 R3 - McIlroy poised for maiden Rolex Series victory in Abu Dhabi
(Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy will take a one shot lead in to the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with a thrilling final day battle ahead as he goes in search of a first Rolex Series victory.


“I can’t go into tomorrow thinking it’s my turn. I want to make it my turn. I have to go out there and continue to hit the ball like I hit it on the back nine tonight. If I can do that and give myself plenty of chances, I’ll have a real chance.”

The four-time Major winner recorded a five under par round of 67 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to get to 13 under par and reclaim the lead he relinquished to Ryder Cup team mate Tyrrell Hatton at the conclusion of the second round.


After starting the week with a sparkling 64 to top the leaderboard in the opening event of the 2021 season, the Northern Irishman needed a birdie on Saturday morning to sign for a level par 72 as the delayed second round was completed, and he was three shots off the lead after 36 holes.

“Today was a little better. It’s so blustery and it’s a different type of golf than we’re used to playing here in Abu Dhabi where there’s usually not much wind. You feel like you have a chance on every hole. There’s like a little more scrambling involved and longer putts.


“I thought I did well today. Obviously had that big stroke of luck on ten, the ball hitting the pin and going in. Apart from that, I played well. I drove it much better on the back nine and I hit it much better on the back nine, so I was really encouraged with that.

But McIlroy roared back to come within touching distance of a first win at an event where he has been runner up four times, carding an eagle and five birdies to move one shot clear of three-time Rolex Series winner Hatton, with double Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner Tommy Fleetwood a shot further back.




“It was a difficult day,” said Hatton. “The conditions were really tough for the whole day. Although I’m pretty disappointed to be honest. I feel like coming back in this morning, I didn’t finish off my round too well and I didn’t actually do anything too wrong.

“Then today, round three, I just felt like I had nothing really go my way. Hit a couple decent shots and ran into a bunker with a terrible lie and had quite a few putts burning the edge or lipping out. Pretty disappointed.

“It’s pretty cool group to be a part of tomorrow. I’m sure the standard of golf will be pretty good and hoping that I can play well and give myself a chance to win.”



American David Lipsky and Scot Marc Warren are at ten under par after a pair of 68s, one shot ahead of Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, with Australia’s Jason Scrivener at eight under.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Alex Levy holed his tee shot from 163 yards with a nine iron at the par three 15th hole at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to win a BMW M850I Coupe.




Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Rory McIlroy
-13
64
72
67
203
2
Tyrrell Hatton
-12
65
68
71
204
3
Tommy Fleetwood
-11
71
67
67
205
T4
David Lipsky
-10
72
66
68
206
T4
Marc Warren
-10
72
66
68
206
6
Rafa Cabrera Bello
-9
67
67
73
207
7
Jason Scrivener
-8
67
70
71
208
T8
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
-7
71
71
67
209
T8
George Coetzee
-7
70
71
68
209
T8
Mikko Korhonen
-7
69
69
71
209
T8
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
-7
69
72
68
209
T8
Wade Ormsby
-7
69
70
70
209
T8
Chris Paisley
-7
72
68
69
209
T8
Matt Wallace
-7
68
70
71
209
T8
Fabrizio Zanotti
-7
66
71
72
209
T16
Adri Arnaus
-6
74
67
69
210
T16
Richard Bland
-6
72
69
69
210
T16
Stephen Gallacher
-6
69
68
73
210
T16
Lucas Herbert
-6
68
68
74
210
T16
Victor Perez
-6
68
73
69
210
T16
Thomas Pieters
-6
69
71
70
210
T22
Nino Bertasio
-5
71
67
73
211
T22
Kristoffer Broberg
-5
69
69
73
211
T22
David Drysdale
-5
73
70
68
211
T22
Victor Dubuisson
-5
73
69
69
211
T22
Ignacio Elvira Mijares
-5
68
68
75
211
T22
Jazz Janewattananond
-5
68
69
74
211
T22
Romain Langasque
-5
67
70
74
211
T22
Alexander Levy
-5
72
70
69
211
T30
Lucas Bjerregaard
-4
68
74
70
212
T30
Grant Forrest
-4
72
70
70
212
T30
Scott Jamieson
-4
71
70
71
212
T30
Robert MacIntyre
-4
72
69
71
212
T30
Jordan Smith
-4
72
71
69
212
T30
Richard Sterne
-4
71
72
69
212
T30
Bernd Wiesberger
-4
70
72
70
212
T37
Masahiro Kawamura
-3
71
70
72
213
T37
Kurt Kitayama
-3
68
74
71
213
T37
Joost Luiten
-3
69
70
74
213
T37
Aaron Rai
-3
69
72
72
213
T37
Andy Sullivan
-3
72
71
70
213
T42
Marcus Armitage
-2
73
70
71
214
T42
Nicolas Colsaerts
-2
72
71
71
214
T42
Rasmus Højgaard
-2
71
72
71
214
T42
James Morrison
-2
69
73
72
214
T42
Robert Rock
-2
72
71
71
214
T42
Antoine Rozner
-2
71
72
71
214
T42
Matthias Schwab
-2
71
71
72
214
T42
Callum Shinkwin
-2
70
69
75
214
T42
Matthew Southgate
-2
74
65
75
214
T42
Danny Willett
-2
71
72
71
214
T52
Benjamin Hebert
-1
68
73
74
215
T52
Tapio Pulkkanen
-1
73
70
72
215
T52
Justin Rose
-1
70
72
73
215
T52
Oliver Wilson
-1
70
70
75
215
T56
Alexander Björk
E
70
72
74
216
T56
Julien Guerrier
E
74
68
74
216
T56
Calum Hill
E
72
71
73
216
T56
Søren Kjeldsen
E
71
72
73
216
T60
Scott Hend
1
71
72
74
217
T60
Henrik Stenson
1
71
72
74
217
T60
Lee Westwood
1
69
73
75
217
T63
Justin Harding
2
73
69
76
218
T63
Padraig Harrington
2
70
73
75
218
T65
Sebastian Soderberg
3
69
71
79
219
T65
Jeff Winther
3
74
69
76
219
CUT
Thomas Aiken
E
73
71
144
CUT
Gaganjeet Bhullar
E
72
72
144
CUT
Steven Brown
E
69
75
144
CUT
Matthew Fitzpatrick
E
70
74
144
CUT
Ryan Fox
E
73
71
144
CUT
Gavin Kyle Green
E
74
70
144
CUT
Joachim B. Hansen
E
72
72
144
CUT
David Horsey
E
70
74
144
CUT
Maximilian Kieffer
E
72
72
144
CUT
Francesco Laporta
E
72
72
144
CUT
Min Woo Lee
E
71
73
144
CUT
Ahmed Marjan
E
72
72
144
CUT
Graeme McDowell
E
72
72
144
CUT
Guido Migliozzi
E
73
71
144
CUT
Adrian Otaegui
E
72
72
144
CUT
Kalle Samooja
E
73
71
144
CUT
Justin Thomas
E
73
71
144
CUT
Laurie Canter
1
70
75
145
CUT
Ashley Chesters
1
72
73
145
CUT
Jamie Donaldson
1
72
73
145
CUT
Lorenzo Gagli
1
72
73
145
CUT
Garrick Higgo
1
73
72
145
CUT
David Howell
1
74
71
145
CUT
Pablo Larrazabal
1
74
71
145
CUT
Haotong Li
1
71
74
145
CUT
Shane Lowry
1
75
70
145
CUT
Richie Ramsay
1
74
71
145
CUT
Julian Suri
1
71
74
145
CUT
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
2
69
77
146
CUT
Ross Fisher
2
72
74
146
CUT
Raphael Jacquelin
2
78
68
146
CUT
David Law
2
70
76
146
CUT
Matthieu Pavon
2
77
69
146
CUT
Joel Stalter
2
73
73
146
CUT
Justin Walters
2
71
75
146
CUT
Dean Burmester
3
78
69
147
CUT
Jorge Campillo
3
74
73
147
CUT
Sean Crocker
3
73
74
147
CUT
Robert Karlsson
3
77
70
147
CUT
Martin Kaymer
3
74
73
147
CUT
Tom Lewis
4
72
76
148
CUT
Edoardo Molinari
4
74
74
148
CUT
Ian Poulter
4
71
77
148
CUT
Brandon Stone
4
70
78
148
CUT
Zander Lombard
5
74
75
149
CUT
Ross McGowan
5
71
78
149
CUT
Eddie Pepperell
5
71
78
149
CUT
Alvaro Quiros
5
73
76
149
CUT
Shubhankar Sharma
5
76
73
149
CUT
Paul Waring
5
73
76
149
CUT
Chris Wood
5
74
75
149
CUT
Ashun Wu
5
76
73
149
CUT
John Catlin
6
75
75
150
CUT
Thomas Detry
6
74
76
150
CUT
Renato Paratore
6
78
72
150
CUT
Richard McEvoy
7
75
76
151
CUT
Marcus Kinhult
8
81
71
152
CUT
Sami Valimaki
8
77
75
152
CUT
Thomas Bjørn
9
72
81
153
CUT
Oliver Fisher
9
76
77
153
CUT
Haydn Porteous
9
77
76
153
CUT
Wilco Nienaber
10
76
78
154
CUT
Ahmad Skaik (a)
12
76
80
156
CUT
Arjun Gupta
13
79
78
157
WD
Joakim Lagergren
3
34
34
WD
Andrea Pavan
2
69
69
DNS
Andrew Johnston
E