Sterne keeps his nose in front
Last updated: 1st February 2013
A two-under-par 70 proved just about enough to allow Richard Sterne to hold on to his lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The South African left it late at Emirates Golf Club on Friday, birdying the final hole to take his total to 12 under par, one shot clear of Dane Thorbjorn Olesen (66), Scot Stephen Gallacher (70) and England's Tommy Fleetwood (68) heading into the weekend.
Sterne was unable to match his scintillating opening 62 in the second round, but did enough to stay in pole position as he chases a sixth win on the European Tour.
"The course was a lot tougher with the wind and the greens definitely firmed out a bit," said the 31-year-old.
"I think it's going to be quite tricky coming to the weekend. There's a lot of guys bunched up and you're going to have to play pretty well to be there on Sunday.
"I had a long time sitting at home watching all the guys and especially the South Africans winning, so it's nice to be back in the action and to have a chance."
Chris Doak (69), Maximilian Kieffer (68) and Andreas Harto (67) follow on 10 under, while Sergio Garcia (67), struggling with shoulder pain, Romain Wattel (67) and Jeev Milkha Singh (67) are three back on nine under.
Last week's winner in Qatar, Chris Wood, is among a large group on eight under, four back, while Lee Westwood, playing in his first event of 2013, has six shots to make up after a disappointing finish.
Westwood drove wildly on the 17th and had to settle for a double-bogey on what is statistically the easiest hole on the course. He eventually signed for a 71.
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