ABU DHABI, Jan 19 (Reuters) - World number five Justin Rose showed his title rivals a clean pair of heels in the Abu Dhabi Championship third round on Saturday, surging two strokes clear after cramming seven birdies in a four-under 68.
After top-ranked Rory McIlroy and world number two Tiger Woods missed the cut on Friday, Rose had centre stage pretty much to himself at the European Tour event and again showed he revels in the spotlight.
The 32-year-old Briton dropped a shot at the difficult par-four first before recovering with five birdies in six holes to the turn.
Rose made more inroads on par at the 12th and 18th and would have stretched his lead further but for bogeys at the 13th and 17th.
Fellow Briton Jamie Donaldson (69) and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen (69) were tied for second spot on 10-under 206, one ahead of Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (66).
The best performances of the day came from India's Shiv Chowrasia (65) and Australian Andrew Dodt (65), who both carded the lowest rounds of the week.
Editing by Stephen Wood