Stephen Gallacher snatches third-round lead from McIlroy in Dubai Desert Classic

Johannesburg, Feb 2: Defending champion Stephen Gallacher has snatched the Dubai Desert Classic third-round lead from Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy with seven birdies and an eagle on the back nine on Saturday.

Tying an European Tour record, the Scot blitzed his way to a nine-under-par 63 – the joint lowest round of this year’s event – to finish with a 16-under total of 200, two clear of world number six McIlroy, having started the day four adrift.

According to Sport24, the nine-under effort of 28 scored by Gallacher, whose Dubai win 12 months ago was his first title in nearly a decade, was the equal lowest back-nine score on tour in relation to par.

Meanwhile, the report mentioned that McIlroy birdied the 17th to add some lustre to another frustrating round for the twice-major winner who returned a 69 after finding only four fairways and missing a series of middle-distance putts, while world number one Tiger Woods again failed to sparkle, returning a 70 to end up 11 shots off the pace. (ANI)