Lowry masters par-threes to extend Abu Dhabi lead

Lowry has led after all three rounds

England's Lee Westwood is two-shots off the pace in fourth place after carding a bogey-free 68.

He put pressure on Lowry on the last hole, where his second shot bounced out of the bunker, and he hit his approach to within inches for a tap-in birdie, his sixth in the round for a 68.

"I played good and I felt very comfortable out there", Lowry told Sky Sports.

The 31-year-old secured the last of his three victories at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational over three years ago but he is in pole position with one round remaining after posting a third-round 67.

Shane Lowry fired a course record-equalling 10-under-par 62 to grab a three-shot lead on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi Championship on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

His card contained six birdies, three of which came in the opening four holes in the company of Ian Poulter and earned the 35-year-old Glaswegian a share of the lead with Lowry and South African Richard Sterne before he came a cropper at the short seventh.

Lowry birdied the 12th and 15th holes to climb to 12 under par and a round of 70.

"So I've been resting up a lot and hopefully that helps tomorrow". He shot a 3-under 69 to move to 14 under. "Some of the shots early on were pretty horrendous, so I battled back and hit some really nice shots out there".

The Irishman is back playing on the European Tour after losing his U.S. PGA Tour card past year.

"I'm really happy with that", Lowry said.

"Obviously, I need to go out and play my own game and stay aggressive and see what the lads behind me can do", said the world No. 75, who could move to inside the top-50 with a win Saturday.

"I'm not going to say I feel invincible because we all know that this game is not easy, and it can jump up and bite you when you least expect it". He also dropped a shot at the par-4 fifth before repairing that damage with a burst of three straight birdies from the tenth.

"It was one that I really wanted and always had scheduling problems to play it".

Dustin Johnson finished with back-to-back birdies to post a level-par 72, with two-time defending champion Tommy Fleetwood a further stroke back after matching Johnson's total. "A bad iron shot at the 12th killed me mentally for a few holes", said Capital-based Ramsay after signing for a 74.



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