ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Justin Rose extended his lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday, shooting a 4-under 68 to take a two-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson and Thorbjorn Olesen.
A day after top-ranked Rory McIlroy and second-ranked Tiger Woods missed the cut, the fifth-ranked Englishman made his third round look easy with seven birdies. After three-putting on the first for a bogey, Rose had a stretch of six birdies over nine holes — including sinking a 20-footer on No. 5 that gave him back the lead and an approach shot on No. 9 that rolled to 4 feet from the hole for birdie.
"Delighted about the day," said Rose, who has been at the top of the leaderboard all week. "I strengthened my lead, if you like, one to two shots. I guess that's always good."
Olesen (69) and Donaldson (69) struggled to make putts early but finished with birdies to close the gap. Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (66) finished with two birdies to move into fourth, three shots behind Rose.
Rose cooled down on the back nine, hitting errant drives on Nos. 13 and 17 that led to bogeys and reduced a four-shot lead to two. After Olesen and Donaldson birdied No. 18, Rose responded by nearly chipping in on the same hole and finished with his seventh birdie that gave him a three-round total of 204.
"I was a little bit mad about the bogey at No. 17 because I didn't feel I did an awful lot wrong there," Rose said. "I've been very resilient and bounced back well."
Olesen and Donaldson struggled to make putts early but finished satisfied to be in the mix coming into today. Olesen hit an approach shot from a sandy rough on 18 that landed a few feet from the pin for a birdie. Donaldson matched him with a clutch putt on 18 for his second birdie in four holes.
At La Quinta, Calif., Scott Stallings opened a five-stroke lead in the Humana Challenge, holing a 20-foot downhill putt on the par-5 eighth hole for his second eagle of the round.
Stallings shot a 9-under 63 to reach 22-under 194 after three days in perfect conditions in the Coachella Valley. He played PGA West's Jack Nicklaus course after opening the pro-am event with a 66 on the Arnold Palmer course — the site of the final round today — and shooting a 65 at La Quinta.
Stallings also eagled the par-5 13th — hitting a 6-iron to 8 feet — and had five birdies in his third straight bogey-free round. The 27-year-old former Tennessee Tech player has two PGA Tour victories, winning the 2011 Greenbrier Classic and 2012 True South Classic.
Mitsubishi Electric Championship
At Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii, David Frost shot a 65 to hold a two-stroke lead on John Cook after the second round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Frost's bogey-free round left him at 14-under-par 130 at Hualalai Golf Club in the season opener of the Champions Tour.
With winds gusting to 28 mph, scores were higher in the second round, but it barely bothered the 53-year-old South African. Despite having his first-round lead cut in half, he remained in front with five birdies on the back nine, where he needed just 12 putts.