England's Ross Fisher

Ross Fisher made eight birdies and one bogey on day three in Abu Dhabi

England’s Ross Fisher produced a seven-under-par round to move into the joint lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

The 37-year-old caught overnight leader, Belgian Thomas Pieters, after going round in 65 on day three.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is third and a shot back, one ahead of Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick with a day to go.

Fitzpatrick carded a nine-under-par 63 to surge into contention on the penultimate day.

Fisher, who has not won on the European Tour since 2014, caught Pieters when he converted a 20-footer on the 14th.

Pieters shot five birdies and no bogeys in his first 17 holes and then produced a par save at the last to remain in top spot.

Four-time major winner McIlroy is one shot off the pace after a seven-under 65.

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is competing in his first event since October

“I putted really well and hit the ball very well,” McIlroy said after hitting eight birdies and a solitary bogey to get to 16 under par.

“All in all, it was another great round and another really good confidence builder – not just for this week but for the rest of the season as well.”

Playing in his first event since October because of a rib injury, McIlroy said his plan for Sunday was to “go out and try and shoot the best score” possible.

“I felt really comfortable, really relaxed out there,” he added.

Fitzpatrick, 23, sits alongside defending champion Fleetwood on 15 under after firing 10 birdies and one bogey for the best score of the round.

News Reporter

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