Jan 18 (Reuters) - England's Lee Westwood will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship after carding a seven-under-par 65 on Saturday.
Westwood, who last won on the European Tour at the 2018 Nedbank Challenge, produced a mighty approach shot to set up an eagle on the par five eighth hole to take the lead.
He finished with a tricky birdie putt that moved him to 14-under overall, a shot clear of Italian Francesco Laporta and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger.
Having barely touched a club since featuring in the European Tour's season finale in Dubai last November, Westwood was satisfied with his steady progress in Abu Dhabi this week.
"It's always a bonus to be in contention and that's basically why we come out here," the 46-year-old said.
"I'm not going to lie, I didn't play a lot of golf coming into it, didn't know what to expect. To be in the lead with one round to go, it's a real positive.
"I know I'm talented enough to win the tournament, it's just a case of applying myself."
Wiesberger made a late charge with three consecutive birdies to match Westwood's round of 65, while overnight leader Laporta gained two shots in his final three holes to finish with 69.
Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick sits in fourth at 12-under, while Sergio Garcia is another shot back alongside Kurt Kitayama.
World number one Brooks Koepka bounced back from a second-round 75 to make six birdies and finish with a round of 70. The American, however, remains nine shots off the lead. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)