Dubai Desert Classic: Rory McIlroy takes three-shot lead into final round despite closing bogey

Rory McIlroy holds a three-shot lead over Callum Shinkwin and Dan Bradbury in Dubai, with Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter four strokes back.

Rory McIlroy produced two brilliant birdie runs to help take a commanding three-shot lead into the final round of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

The world No 1, looking to win the event for the third time and make a winning start to 2023, charged up the leaderboard with a brilliant third-round 65 at Emirates Golf Club.

McIlroy birdied each of his first four holes and added four more in a five-hole stretch on his back nine, with his only blemish coming when he found water with his approach into the par-five last on his way to a closing bogey.

The 33-year-old sits on 15 under and three clear of English duo Callum Shinkwin and Dan Bradbury, McIlroy’s playing partners for Monday’s final round, with LIV golf members Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed among the large group four off the pace in tied-fourth.

“I felt like the good golf came in sort of two bursts today,” McIlroy said. “Then the rest of it, it was okay. I held it together. I still don’t feel quite in control of my game, but today was much better than yesterday.”


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