McIlroy shoots 65, has 3-shot lead after 3 rounds in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rory McIlroy delivered an exhibition of quick iron play to shoot 7-under 65 in his third spherical and construct a three-stroke lead on the Dubai Desert Traditional on Sunday.

The highest-ranked McIlroy made eight birdies at Emirates Golf Membership — 4 in a row from No. 1, three straight from No. 13, and one other at No. 17 — and not one of the birdie putts have been from greater than 7 ft.

“I drove the ball higher at present, which put me in higher positions to assault and make birdies,” stated the Northern Irishman, making his first begin of 2023. “It is almost there, not fairly there. I’m simply enjoying actually environment friendly golf proper now.”

McIlroy did, although, give the chasers some hope by making bogey on the par-5 No. 18, for his solely dropped shot of the spherical, after hitting a fairway wooden from round 250 yards into the water in entrance of the inexperienced. After lacking a par putt from 8 ft, McIlroy had a glance of disappointment throughout his face as he walked off the inexperienced, regardless of holding a commanding lead.

The four-time main champion made the identical mistake on the 18th gap in his ultimate spherical in final yr’s match to complete a shot behind the leaders, when a birdie would have received him the title.

“I really like this golf course, this match. I’ve received right here a few occasions … however I do not assume I’ve received on my first begin (of a yr),” he stated. “I’ve given myself a chance to attempt to do one thing I’ve by no means finished earlier than.”

McIlroy was on 15 below general, with English gamers Callum Shinkwin (67) and No. 484-ranked Dan Bradbury (68) tied for second place.

Because the gamers on the leaderboard went down the stretch, there appeared to be a powerful likelihood of McIlroy and Patrick Reed being collectively within the final group in Monday’s ultimate spherical. That may have been must-watch viewing after they made headlines with a pre-tournament spat.

Reed, nonetheless, made bogey on the drivable par-4 seventeenth when his tee shot received caught up a tree to the correct of the green. The American wound up capturing 69 and was in a seven-man group tied for fourth place on 11 below, 4 photographs behind McIlroy.

That group included France’s Victor Perez (66), the winner final week on the equally prestigious Abu Dhabi Championship.

Spanish participant Adri Arnaus briefly held the lead on 13 below after eight holes of his spherical, however he fell away after bogeying No. 9 and making double-bogey on the par-5 thirteenth. Arnaus was a type of on 11 below.

The match is ending on Monday after dangerous climate reduce quick play on the opening two days.


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