Paul Casey looking to boost his Ryder Cup qualification hopes with a European Tour victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic; Englishman takes a one-shot lead over Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre into the final day
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 30/01/21 3:18pm
Paul Casey has set his sights on a long-awaited maiden Dubai victory after taking a one-shot lead following the third round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Casey has registered three of his 14 European Tour titles in the Middle East, having followed Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship wins in 2007 and 2009 by claiming a Volvo Golf Champions victory in Bahrain in 2011, but he is yet to celebrate success in Dubai.
The Englishman fired a round-of-the-day 64 at Emirates Golf Club to move a shot clear of Robert MacIntyre, with a chip-in birdie at the 17th and final-hole eagle giving him a narrow advantage heading into the final day.
“To have a perfect three-iron in there and finish off with an eagle is pretty cool,” Casey told Sky Sports. “You can never say [the round was] flawless, because there’s always errors, but it was very controlled.
“It was a really enjoyable round of golf. Challenging yet at the same time with a little bit of wind here and there, I mean, it’s good stuff. I’m enjoying my golf and that was an example of it today.
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“I’ve won just down the road [in Abu Dhabi]. I’ve never won in Dubai. Iconic trophy, iconic event and Dubai has given so much to golf, especially the European Tour, so that [winning] would be very, very cool.”
MacIntyre will play alongside Casey on the final day after recovering from dropping three shots in two holes on his front nine to sign for a five-under 67, with the Scot also posting an eagle and six birdies on an eclectic scorecard.
When asked to give his assessment of his round, MacIntyre told Sky Sports: “Eventful. I played great golf. I controlled my golf ball I think as good as I have all week.
“I’m not going to hang about, I’m going to put it all on the line, whether it’s good or bad, but tomorrow hopefully it’s going to be good and I’ve just got to enjoy it again.
“It’s another experience that I want to get, you know what I mean. It’s something that not many people get the chance at my age to do, and I’ll give it everything I’ve got. It [winning] would be unbelievable.”
Who will win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic? Watch the final round live on Sunday from 8.30am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.