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Shane Lowry, Francesco Molinari and Min Woo Lee tied at the top

Shane Lowry's bid to become a two-time Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner remains firmly on track after he shot a third-round 66 to head into the final round tied alongside Francesco Molinari and Min Woo Lee at the top of the leaderboard.

The Irishman carded a spectacular eagle, five birdies and a solitary bogey on Saturday to move to 13 under par.

The 2019 champion spent most of the back nine at the summit before his only bogey of the day at the 17th and a closing birdie from Lee up at the 18th saw the Australian take over at the top.

But the Major Champion bounced back brilliantly, nervelessly holing his birdie putt from around nine feet at the last.

And midway co-leader Molinari made it a three-way tie at the top after finishing his third-round 69 with a birdie from five feet in the final group.

Lee carded seven birdies and one bogey in his 66, with the highlight of his round coming at the short fourth as he almost holed his tee-shot for an ace.

The leading trio have a high-class chasing pack just behind them, with France's Victor Perez, Scot Grant Forrest and Swede Sebastian Söderberg at 12 under.

Three-time Major Champion Pádraig Harrington is in the four-strong group another shot back after reeling off six successive birdies in his flawless 64.

Lowry began the day three shots off the lead but soon set about cutting the gap, birdieing the second from close range before holing his approach from the fairway at the difficult sixth for a stunning eagle there.

He came agonisingly close to securing a second straight eagle on the seventh but had to make do with a tap-in birdie before saving par at the eighth.

An 18-foot birdie on the ninth handed Lowry the outright lead but he had to wait until the 15th for his next birdie after missing a good chance at the previous hole.

He holed from just off the green at the 15th to reach 13 under but got into bunker trouble at the short 17th and just missed his par putt there to surrender a bogey.

The 35-year-old fought back, though, making his birdie at the 18th to grab a share of the lead.

He said: "It's nice to go out on a Saturday, in tricky conditions coming in on the back nine, and put myself in there for tomorrow.

"First tournament of the year, you don't know what's going to happen. My thing would be I try and give myself as many chances to win as I can and at some stage hopefully it happens.

"Tomorrow I've got a chance to go out there and do something special, so hopefully I can bring the game that I brought the last few days and roll a few putts in as well and you never know."

Lee made a hot start, birdieing the second before coming within 15 inches of making a hole-in-one at the fourth.

After tidying up for birdie there, he dropped his only shot of the day at the sixth but bounced straight back with a birdie on the seventh.

He then made birdies at the tenth, 11th, 14th and 18th on the way home to reach the summit.

Lee said: "It was very solid. The off-season work with my coach and my team is kind of starting to show. I didn't think it was going to start this quick.

"But my approach play is one of my downfalls I've had over the last couple of years, so I needed to get better at that and change my swing a little bit. So it's happy times and hopefully tomorrow is another good round."

Molinari began the day tied alongside Guido Migliozzi at the top before making back-to-back birdies at the second and third.

A bogey at the fifth dropped the Italian back to 11 under before he bookended the back nine with birdies at the tenth and 18th to join Lee and fellow Open Championship winner Lowry on 13 under.

He said: "It's definitely going to be a shootout tomorrow. There's loads of guys with a chance. We'll see. I mean, if the wind gets up, obviously the course plays trickier. So you might get someone shooting a low score in the morning and posting a low score.

"So I think an exciting day in store for the viewers, maybe not so much for us, but it would be a fight, and it's nice at least to position myself with a chance going into tomorrow."

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