Rory McIlroy is on the verge of his third Race to Dubai title in four years after firing a 65 on day three of the DP World Tour Championship to sit just a stroke behind tournament leader Andy Sullivan at 15-under par.
The 26-year-old Northern Irishman carded four birdies on either nine with a bogey on 12 to add to two earlier 68s, and now stands poised to top the money list providing he stays ahead of six other Race to Dubai contenders on the final day at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Sunday.
“I’d love to finish the year on a high and win the Race to Dubai and I guess more importantly, win this tournament,” said the four-time Major winner, who has two wins and seven top ten finishes to his name this season. “Another tournament win, that’s what I really want.
“It’s the only thing left this year. It’s my last round of the season, and I want to make the most of it. It would have been nicer to be a shot better going into the last round, but I’ve got one more round to go and give it my all.
“I’ve been playing lovely, so that bodes well for tomorrow; if I can just keep this up and apply a bit of pressure early on, then hopefully keep it going. But it’s exactly where I want to be, in contention going into Sunday, so it’s all good.
“I’m more than likely going to be in the final group,” he added. “So it’s just a matter of trying to focus on myself, try and win the golf tournament, and that’s all I can do. Set myself a target out there and go for it, and I know that if I can do that hopefully everything will work out the right way.”
Sullivan, 29, of England, took his lead into a third night following up two earlier 66s with a third round 68 to reach 16 under par, thanks to three outward birdies and a bogey on four before two birdies on his return.
“It’s great, there’s no pressure on me,” said the man from Nuneaton who used to work in a supermarket before he turned professional four years ago.
“I’m not expected to win, am I? I can go out there and play golf. No one is expecting me to beat him [McIlroy]. So for me it’s a nice position to be in, one in front. I’m going to go out, play golf and enjoy watching Rory play golf.
“I’m playing well, putting really well. So I think for me, it’s just a key of trying to give myself as many chances as possible. I know Rory is going to have a good run at it tomorrow. For me, it’s about taking those chances and seeing where I finish. I’m looking forward to it, playing Rory on the last day of the DP World Tour Championship is going to be amazing.
“I know Rory will have his own fans out there, probably 90 per cent of them to be fair, but my boys make a lot of noise,” he said of his supporters.
Of the six golfers trying to catch McIlroy for the Race to Dubai, Byeong Hun An is tied for fourth at 12 under par, Danny Willett is tied for sixth at 11 under, Branden Grace is tied for ninth at 10 under, Louis Oosthuizen is tied for 28 at five under, Shane Lowry is tied for 43 at two under and Justin Rose is tied for 48th at one under.
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