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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Joachim B. Hansen and Francesco Laporta, players outside the top 150 in the world and with one win between them on the European Tour, share the lead heading into the final round of the Dubai Championship.
Hansen got up and down for par from a greenside bunker on No. 18 to shoot a 5-under 67 in the third round Saturday and move to 19 under par overall in the next-to-last event in the 2021 season.
The Danish player was soon joined in the lead by Italian Laporta, who two-putted for birdie from a long way out from the front of the green at the par-5 last to also shoot 67.
Laporta, ranked No. 211, is seeking his first European Tour title 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.
“All in all, 5 under is a good score but it could have been a lot better.”
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.
“In the end, it is not a disaster,” Rozner said. “I am still in there in the mix and everything is up to tomorrow. That is what I wanted when I started this tournament.”
Kalle Samooja is alone in fourth — two shots off the lead — after a 68, while Tommy Fleetwood (68) and Min Woo Lee (66) still have a chance at three strokes behind.
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The Associated Press