Garcia stays cool in Desert Classic


Sergio Garcia retained his three-shot lead at the summit of the Dubai Desert Classic as the Spaniard completed the last of his 31 holes on Saturday in darkness.

Having resumed on the sixth hole of his second round after high winds brought Friday's play to a premature close, Garcia signed for a 67 and then returned to complete another set of 18 in 68 strokes - the last of which was a birdie putt in fading light - leaving him three clear of Open champion Henrik Stenson.

Sitting 16 under overall, Garcia has led after every round of the tournament at Emirates Golf Club, closing with back-to-back gains to keep Stenson at bay.

For his part, the Swede shot a composed 67 to remain Garcia's closest challenger, with Ian Poulter and Prom Meesawat a further two back from the 2016 Race to Dubai winner.

The most impressive round of the day belonged to Garcia and Stenson's playing partner Tyrell Hatton, the Englishman - who teed off at the 10th - overcoming a slow start to card a thrilling 65 which included an eagle two at 17.

"If you said I was going to shoot seven under after my first seven holes, I probably would have been slightly surprised," said Hatton. "It was a great last 11 holes. I'll try and forget about the ninth green [a bogey].

"I didn't strike the ball particularly well, especially this morning. And playing next to Stenson and Garcia probably exaggerated that for me because they hit the ball so well.

"It was frustrating this morning. Although I scored actually okay, my game just didn't feel good at all. So I'm very happy with this afternoon's score.

"I love being out here. The golf courses are fantastic and always in good condition. Quick greens is what players like, so I always look forward to coming back."

Gregory Bourdy also provided a highlight, acing the 11th to shrug off the frustration of consecutive bogeys on the same hole.