Harrington piles on the birdies but stalls in AVIV Dubai Championship

Fatiha Betscher

Padraig Harrington in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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Fatiha Betsher reports from Dubai 

Padraig Harrington continues to pile on the birdies but his quest to contest next week’s season-ender stalled on day three of the AVIV Dubai Championship at the Jumeirah Estates.

Harrington added a second straight round of 67 to move to an impressive 14-under par and share 10th place ahead of the final round of  the Fire course while Dane Jochim B. Hansen and Italian Franceco Laporta, each with third round 67s, share the lead on 19-under par heading to the final day of the final hosting of the AVIV sponsored event.

Defending Dubai champ Antoine Rozner, with Irish caddy Darren Reynolds on the bag, signed for a 69 to be in third place on 18-under par.

Harrington has collected 18 birdies over his three rounds with 12 of those on the inward half of the Sergio Garcia designed course however he was disappointed walking from the 18th not to have birdied the slightly uphill par-5 closing hole for a third day running.

The Dubliner arrived in Dubai lying 56th on the Race to Dubai and needing to be now inside the leading 53 given the withdrawal next week of Viktor Hovland and Justin Rose from the DP World Tour Championship while Harrington will now head into the last day of last ‘regular’ event of the season needing probably a top-5 finish, with the nine players on the leaderboard ahead of him among the leading 38 on the Race to Dubai ranking.

“I struggled a little bit and missed a few putts yesterday so I was never that comfortable out there today”, Harrington said.

“I didn’t have a great start today with a bogey for a second day on number two but I hung in there and played the par-5s well, hit some good shots in and had some eagle chances.

“It was one of those days that it added up to a better score at the end of the day. I am just trying to stay patient but it was a bit of a grind to get there let’s say.

As for tomorrow?

“I’m now going to hit some putts and some chips and leave the golf alone as that seems to be fine,” he said.  “Then I’ll get my head in the right place for tomorrow”.

Jonathan Caldwell will be out early at 7.29am local time (Sunday) in the second group of the morning after his third day 71 to now be at seven-under par.

And like Harrington, Caldwell is also projected not to move off his own current Race to Dubai standing of 96th.

However, Scotland’s David Drysdale has been given a huge lift in his goal to retain his card despite missing the Dubai cut after England’s Ashley Chesters, 125th on the money-list and projected to take Drysdale’s 121st spot, and the cut-off mark top retain 2022 Tour membership, shot a third day 74.

Drysdale is back in 121st on the projections and with Chesters up only one spot to 124th.

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