Lost tee shot costs Sullivan


A lost tee shot on the ninth hole proved costly as Andy Sullivan fell from the top of the leaderboard at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, where he was usurped by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Rickie Fowler.

On another day affected by fog at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sullivan began round three two shots clear on 10-under par after the rest of the field completed their second rounds in the morning.

Amateur Bryson DeChambeau and four-time runner-up McIlroy were tied for second at the halfway stage, after carding second rounds of 72 and 70 respectively.

However, as darkness rolled in to bring an end to the action at around 18.00 local time, the picture had changed dramatically once again with only a handful of players able to finish their third rounds.

None of those were in the top 10, with five players finishing tied for the lead on 10-under par and another quintet a further shot behind.

Sullivan looked in good shape as he headed for the ninth two shots clear, but his day soon took a turn for the worse as he lost his ball in thick rough beside the fairway and was forced to return to the tee and eventually record a triple-bogey seven.

Those dropped shots saw him fall to nine-under par alongside Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Robert Rock, Thomas Pieters and Henrik Stenson - who also announced on Saturday his withdrawal from next week's Qatar Masters due to knee and foot pain.

There are some big names ahead of those five, however, with McIlroy, Poulter, Fowler, Joost Luiten and Branden Grace all a shot better off at the summit.

Grace has just two holes to complete on Sunday after carding six birdies and no bogeys in his round thus far, while Poulter and Fowler are also yet to drop a shot, posting five and four birdies respectively.

Poulter has five holes to finish, while Fowler has seven and McIlroy and Luiten have nine and eight still to play respectively.

DeChambeau, meanwhile, is one over through his front nine and has fallen three shots off the lead.