England's Paul Casey leads Scot Robert MacIntyre in Dubai
DUBAI – England's Paul Casey conjured up a birdie-eagle finish to seize control of the Dubai Desert Classic after Saturday's third round.
His bogey free 64 put him top of the leaderboard going into the final day, one shot clear of Scotland's Robert MacIntyre.
South African Brandon Stone was one shot further back at 13 under in third, three shots clear of Sergio Garcia, who won in Dubai in 2017, and Casey's fellow Englishman Laurie Canter.
Casey, who had begun the day three shy of the lead, is targeting a 15th European Tour win on Sunday at an event he described as "iconic".
🏴 -15 Casey— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 30, 2021
🏴 -14 MacIntyre
🇿🇦 -13 Stone
🇪🇸 -10 Garcia
🏴 -10 Canter
18 holes to play in Dubai.#ODDC
"I can see the very impressive list of winners, those photos of them behind the 18th green," he said after matching the lowest round of the week.
"It's cool -- iconic trophy, iconic event. Dubai has given so much to golf, especially the European Tour, so (to win) would be very, very cool but there's a long way to go yet."
At 43 years of age, Casey is only too aware he is by no means among the youngest on the golf course these days.
"We always say, if you stay the same level you're going to go backwards in this game and every year it gets better and better and better, every year the young guys come up longer and stronger and they putt it better.
"There's no question that I'm lucky that my physical attributes have allowed me to maybe give me another five years.
"Westy (Lee Westwood) is inspiration. I saw him this morning. He was looking fit. I've still got to chase those guys."
Casey made five birdies in his first 10 holes before his sizzling finish to sit ahead of MacIntyre.
Halfway leader Thomas Detry slipped down to a three-way tie for seventh with Justin Rose and Justin Harding after adding a 74 to his pair of 67s.