ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP)Germany’s Martin Kaymer will take a oneshot lead into the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship after carding athird successive 67 on Saturday .
Kaymer, who won the title in 2007 and finished second last year, moved on toa 15 under total of 201.
However, he will face tough opposition after Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy , who shot 67, and England’s Ian Poulter , who also went round in 67, are onlyone stroke behind. Sweden’s Peter Hanson is fourth on 199 after a 70.
Kaymer had feared that his success rate at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club could besuffer as a lingering consequence of a freak go-karting accident in Scottsdalelast summer. He was out of action for nearly four months, with three smallbroken bones in his foot, and they are held together by a metal plate which mayhave to stay in place throughout 2010.
“If I have the plate taken out I will need another two to two and a halfweeks to recover,” he said. “And I never really get a break for three weeksduring the season. I don’t want to miss tournaments in a Ryder Cup year. But Ido seem to be able to play good golf with it still in place.”
And it’s worth putting with a bit of pain to play on a course he enjoys.
“There are certain shots where I still have to be careful when I play withthe ball below my feet its hurts a bit,” he said. “But I do like this course.I always seem to play well here because all the tee shots seem to suit my eye.”
Kaymer had begun his third round two shots behind the halfway leader RickKulacz . The Australian, playing his first full European event since obtaining acard at qualifying, struggled though to hold on to his place.
He opened his third round with a bogey and could only shoot a one over 73 tofall four shots behind Kaymer, whose sixth birdie of the day completed fromseven feet on the final green gave him the outright lead.
The field behind Kaymer is fairly cluttered with Spain’s Alvaro Quiros ,England’s Chris Woods and Ireland’s Shane Lowry just two shots behind.
The most experienced player on Thursday’s halfway leaderboard, Spain’sSergio Garcia , appeared to drop out of contention after shooting a 74 to lie sixshots back.
However, his fellow European Ryder Cup player Poulter certainly feels has achance of preventing Kaymer producing his second win in the Arabian Desert.
“Before I came here, my one worry was that I was not sinking enough 20-25foot putts,” Poulter said. “But now I have had two or three of them go in sowhat was the problem there?”