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Rory McIlroy surges into Dubai lead

Rory McIlroy surges into Dubai lead

With hardly any wind at Emirates Golf Club, a slew of low scores were produced, none better than the 42-year-old Donaldson who has a one-shot lead over English duo David Horsey and Anthony Wall.

In the 108 holes McIlroy has now played since his return to the game following a four month sabbatical, he is a phenomenal 33 under par, having had just four bogeys. Spain's world number 8 Sergio Garcia, the defending champion, opened with a five-under par 67.

In addition to McIlroy, Li has Alexander Levy chasing him after the Frenchman, helped by a hole-in-one at the fourth moved into contention on 17-under, with South African Haydn Porteous on the same total after a matching 65.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman ended his injury-plagued 2017 season early, but he shot 18-under last week and finished only four shots behind champion Tommy Fleetwood at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

But it was McIlroy at his best as he eagled the 10th after two majestic blows, with three birdies in the final six holes also contributing to a pleasing day at the coalface. Hopefully [I'll] get off to a good start tomorrow.

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McIlroy's last win was in August 2016 at the Tour Championship, and he was impressed by Li.

Given he was out in the afternoon's last group with McIlroy and Welshman Jamie Donaldson, it was an extremely impressive showing.

Sullivan's 63 was the lowest third-round score but it was a hard day for early leader Jamie Donaldson.

"The back nine's been good to me this week".

"I showed that even whenever I didn't have my best stuff today, I was able to battle around and get in at a decent score", McIlroy added. "I wouldn't say I hit anything very close, but I took advantage of opportunities that I had and all of a sudden you're 7-under for the day". "Not naming names, but I struggled the first couple of rounds with the pace of play as well, but two-balls tomorrow should see us going from five hours to three hours and forty five minutes tomorrow, which will feel nice", he said.


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