Gallacher equals tour record to overhaul McIlroy

Sat Feb 1, 2014 11:20am EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Champion Stephen Gallacher amassed seven birdies and an eagle on the back nine on Saturday, tying a European Tour record, as the scintillating Scot snatched the Dubai Desert Classic third-round lead from Rory McIlroy.

Gallacher, 39, blitzed his way to a nine-under-par 63 - the joint lowest round of this year's event - to finish with a 16-under total of 200, two clear of world number six McIlroy having started the day four adrift.

World number one Tiger Woods again failed to sparkle, returning a 70 to end up 11 shots off the pace.

After picking up four strokes on the front nine of his opening round, the 14-times major winner has made just six birdies in 45 holes.

"I wasted a lot of opportunities out there today," a frustrated Woods told reporters.

"I only hit a couple of bad shots and missed a ton of putts. I really hit it good and just threw away a lot of shots."

At the other end of the spectrum, Gallacher gobbled up most of his chances.

"It was a bit of a struggle to start with especially the first three holes," the Scot said.   Continued...

Stephen Gallacher of Scotland watches his shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah