Rory McIlroy is back and looks to be in Masters form already

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Thomas Pieters holed a bunker shot for a closing birdie and shot a second-round 65 to take a one-stroke lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Friday as top-ranked Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy moved into contention.

Murphy shook off nerves before stepping up and slamming a 3-wood into the 177-yard, par-3 15th hole at Abu Dhabi Golf Club during a Beat the Pro challenge.

Pieters thoughts were now firmly focused on Sunday's finale, stating: "I think I played really well today and hit some really good shots".

Playing in his first event since calling an early end to his injury-plagued and winless season in October past year, four-time major champion McIlroy came into the third round three shots behind Ryder Cup partner Pieters after following up Thursday's 69 with a sparkling 66 on Friday.

"Looking ahead to the final day, McIlroy said: "It would mean a lot to win here in Abu Dhabi. I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole".

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"I just didn't hole anything really", said Ramsay of his day.

The youngster who practices 3 to 4 times a week and aspiring to being a golf professional one day had been emotional on hearing the news of his prize of playing with his hero. I hit most of my iron shots very well.

Dougherty: You said there that the weather is meant to change a bit tomorrow, we've had ideal weather up until this point, the wind is going to blow, is that something you would relish?

After calming down Murphy was relaxed and focused before his big moment but suddenly felt his legs go beneath him when he got the tee and realized he'd practiced the wrong distance. It's the first event of the year, and this is exactly where I want to be. He joins No. 11 Rory McIlroy, who can climb back into the top ten with a high finish in his first start since early October.

"I'm not here to make a statement", he said. Just go out and try and shoot the best score I possibly can. It's felt like a while since I've won and just to give myself these chances; I gave myself a chance at the end of the year at Close House and wasn't able to do it. Paul Dunne played too well for me. "I think when you arrive straight here from Scotland in the winter to play you can be struggling".