Rose Pads Lead in Abu Dhabi

Justin Rose extended his lead to two strokes in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The $2.7 European Tour event began Thursday at the par-72 Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

The 32-year-old Englishman posted five birdies and a bogey on the front nine before adding two of each on the back for a 4-under 68. Rose stands at 12-under 204, two shots ahead of Wales' Jamie Donaldson and Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, who both carded 69s.

"Delighted about the day," said Rose, who will be looking for a wire-to-wire win on Sunday. "I strengthened my lead, if you like, one to two shots. I guess that's always good."

Rose was not entirely pleased with his third round, especially after bogeying the penultimate hole. But he immediately rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 18th. "I was a little bit mad about the bogey at 17 because I didn't feel I did an awful lot wrong there," he said. "I've been very resilient and bounced back well."

Olesen has noted that Rose is in top form. "It looks like he's playing really well but, if I can get some birdies in quickly, I think it can be exciting," Olesen said. "I'm going to try to be aggressive tomorrow. I thought I was pretty aggressive today but I didn't hole the putts I needed to."

Thongchai Jaidee (66) of Thailand is in solo fourth at 207, while another stroke back in fifth at 208 are Scotsman Richie Rmasay (67) and England's David Howell (68) and Spaniard Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (71).

Martin Kaymer, who won the tournament three of the past five times it's been played, shot a 70 and is at 210, six shots behind Rose entering the final round.

American Jason Dufner posted an even-par 72 and is now tied for 19th at 4-under 212.

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