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You are here: Golf Golf News Rampant Rory McIlroy races clear in Dubai

Rampant Rory McIlroy races clear in Dubai

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World Number One Rory McIlroy displayed why he is currently golf’s dominant force by cruising into a four-shot lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to edge closer to a first victory of the 2015 season.

In just his second tournament of a year in which he chases a career Grand Slam of Majors, the 25 year old barely broke sweat as he birdied five holes to reach the turn at the Emirates Golf Club in just 30 strokes. A further birdie on the 17th ensured a third round of six under 66 and a 20 under par, 54-hole total.

Entering moving day one shot clear of a star-studded chasing pack, McIlroy threw down the gauntlet early on with an opening birdie before picking up four shots in his next seven six holes and, while he struggled to maintain that momentum on the back nine, he still moved into position to beat Thomas Bjørn and Stephen Gallacher’s shared 72-hole tournament record score of 22 under.

McIlroy said, “I didn't put a foot wrong on the front nine and when I missed that little short putt on ten, it seemed like that momentum I had just sort of went away and I had to scramble a little bit for pars coming in.

“It was nice to make one birdie on 17 and then it was a great save on the last. It was nice to go out there today with no bogeys so I can't complain. It’s another good round and I’m in a great position going into tomorrow.

“The greens got firm and the wind got up a little bit so it was hard to get the ball close to the hole. You had to hit really quality shots to give yourself chances for birdies, and I didn't quite do that on the back nine like I did on the front.

“I've been in this position many times before so I know the pitfalls that are waiting out there. It's just a matter of sticking to the same game plan, being aggressive, making committed swings and giving myself as many chances for birdies as I can.”

Of those queuing up in the hope of overthrowing the in-form Northern Irishman, Morten Ørum Madsen of Denmark was the closest as the 2013 South African Open Champion carded a 66 of his own to add to his brilliant nine under second round 63.

Eight-time Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood was two shots further back on 14 under par courtesy of a 69, while Gallacher retained some hope of making it three successive wins at Emirates Golf Club after a two under 70 saw him join the English duo of Andy Sullivan and Danny Willett, as well as Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, on 13 under par.

Scores:

196 R McIlroy  (Nir) 66 64 66,

200 M Madsen  (Den) 71 63 66,

202 L Westwood (Eng) 65 68 69,

203 B Wiesberger  (Aut) 64 69 70, S Gallacher (Sco) 66 67 70, A Sullivan (Eng) 65 68 70, D Willett  (Eng) 67 66 70,

204 G McDowell  (Nir) 67 65 72, R Paratore (Ita) 68 66 70, R Rock (Eng) 68 67 69, E Grillo (Arg) 67 68 69, M Warren (Sco) 66 65 73, P Uihlein  (USA) 65 69 70, A Noren  (Swe) 68 67 69, P Larrazábal (Esp) 69 66 69,

205 S Benson (Eng) 66 66 73, G Stal  (Fra) 69 69 67, T Aiken (RSA) 68 71 66,

206 P Lawrie (Sco) 69 71 66, H Stenson (Swe) 70 66 70, B An (Kor) 70 70 66, N Colsaerts  (Bel) 65 74 67,

207 M Carlsson  (Swe) 71 71 65, M Kieffer (Ger) 66 68 73, D Lipsky (USA) 68 71 68,

208 J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 70 66 72, W Ormsby (Aus) 69 69 70, J Luiten (Ned) 68 70 70, P Waring  (Eng) 69 67 72, R Green (Aus) 70 68 70, K Broberg (Swe) 69 69 70, T Jaidee (Tha) 71 68 69, D Van Der Walt (RSA) 69 73 66,

209 A Hansen (Den) 66 72 71, M Kaymer (Ger) 67 69 73, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 71 67, M Foster (Eng) 73 69 67, D Howell (Eng) 71 69 69, G Bourdy (Fra) 69 71 69, G Havret  (Fra) 68 71 70, H Otto (RSA) 66 73 70,

210 B Dredge (Wal) 71 71 68, A Cañizares  (Esp) 72 69 69, E Espana (Fra) 70 70 70, R Fisher (Eng) 71 68 71, A Levy (Fra) 72 68 70,

211 F Aguilar (Chi) 70 71 70, M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) 70 70 71, Y Yang (Kor) 67 73 71, G Mulroy (RSA) 69 70 72, A Wall (Eng) 69 70 72, T Lewis (Eng) 68 73 70, A Johnston (Eng) 68 72 71,

212 T Hatton (Eng) 71 69 72, J Campillo (Esp) 67 70 75, M Ilonen  (Fin) 67 71 74, R Bland (Eng) 71 69 72, S Jamieson  (Sco) 74 68 70, A Quiros  (Esp) 73 69 70,

213 D Brooks (Eng) 69 73 71, M Hoey  (Nir) 72 70 71, M Lampert (Ger) 71 67 75, T Pieters  (Bel) 69 69 75, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 72 70 71, B Grace  (RSA) 73 69 71, O Farr (Wal) 73 68 72,

214 J Palmer (Eng) 74 68 72, D Foos (Ger) 71 71 72, E Els (RSA) 72 70 72,

215 C Doak (Sco) 72 70 73, M Baldwin (Eng) 71 71 73, P Lawrie (Irl) 73 69 73, E Molinari  (Ita) 70 72 73, D McGrane (Irl) 71 70 74,

216 R Ramsay  (Sco) 71 70 75,