Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Ross Fisher and Thomas Pieters Tied at the Top.

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Ross Fisher, England,  and Thomas Pieters, Belgium, are  tied at the top of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship leaderboard after 54 holes.

Ross Fisher / getty

Ross carded a third round -7 under 65, while Thomas was -5 under 67 to be tied for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship lead after 54 holes at -17 under par.

Ross is having fun and playing well;

“It was another good day, obviously great fun getting out with Thomas, third day in a row, a lot of fun, a lot of banter.”

“Just trying to hang on, felt like I played solid.”

“Fingers crossed, we’ll be paired again tomorrow, because it’s been three fun, exciting days with Thomas and Adam on the bag. “

“So we’ll go out there tomorrow and hopefully have some more fun.”

Thomas had some problems with the putter;

“I think I played pretty good today, I missed a lot of putts today.”

“Made a couple birdies early, which settled me down.” 

“The back nine, I played very good. But yeah, I couldn’t really make a putt. Hit one really close on 16 and 17, 18, pretty disappointing.”

“I didn’t hit many good shots there but it’s still nice to make a par on the last after the mess I made.” 

Lurking with intent right behind the top two is four time Major winner Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, at -16 under par with a -7 under 65 round, which included his first bogey of the tournament;

“Just go out and try and shoot the best score I possibly can. I felt really comfortable, really relaxed out there.” 

“It would mean a lot. I’ve had a lot of close calls here, I think about six top threes or something like that.” 

“I’ve never won my first start back out. I was close last year in South Africa, Stormy (Graeme Storm) beat me in a playoff.”

“I’m excited to get back on the horse and give myself another chance tomorrow.”

Matt Fitzpatrick,  -9 under 63 today  and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, -5 under 67, both from England, share fourth on -14 under par.

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