Min Woo Lee on course for Dubai challenge

Australian young gun Min Woo Lee has played himself into the reckoning after the third round of the Dubai Championship, as he chases a second European Tour title of the year.

Lee carded a 6-under 66 at Jumeirah Golf Estates to be 16-under par and just three shots off the pace in a share of fifth place.

Unheralded co-leaders Joachim B. Hansen and Francesco Laporta are 19-under with Antoine Rozner a shot back and Kalle Samooja fourth at 17-under.

Lee is just three shots off the pace heading into the final round, alongside England Ryder Cup player Tommy Fleetwood.

West Australian Lee got off to a sizzling start on Saturday with three opening birdies and added another on the par-5 seventh before giving a shot back a hole later.

However, the highlight of the round for the 23-year-old, who won the Scottish Open in July, was a brilliant pitch-in eagle at the par-5 13th.

He closed his round birdie, bogey, birdie to be right in the mix in the UAE.

Dane Hansen and Italian Francesco Laporta, players outside the top 150 in the world and with one win between them on the European Tour, both signed for rounds of 67 to edge ahead.

Laporta, ranked No. 211, is seeking his maiden title on the major tour while the 170th-ranked Hansen’s only victory on the tour came at the Joburg Open last season.

Both players started the day one shot back from second-round leader Antoine Rozner and each posted six birdies – three on the front nine and three on the back.

“It was very good from tee to green, the best I’ve ever played,” said Hansen, whose only big mistake came on the 18th when his second shot from the fairway went left and settled on a cart track, leading to him pitching straight into a bunker.

One shot back is Rozner, the defending champion who extended his advantage by holing out for eagle at the par-4 third only to drop his first shots of the week with a double-bogey 7 at No. 5.

By making birdie at the last, the Frenchman shot 69.

Finn Samooja and Fleetwood both signed for round of 68.

Thai Jazz Janewattananond (63), two-time major champion Martin Kaymer (65) and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (68) are all at 15-under.

with AP


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