Jan 23rd, 2021
Rory leads again Abu Dhabi
McIlroy leads by one going into Sunday
Photography: Getty Images
The four-time Major winner recorded a five-under-par round of 67 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to get to 13 under par and reclaim the lead he relinquished to Ryder Cup teammate Tyrrell Hatton at the conclusion of the second round.
After starting the week with a sparkling 64 to top the leaderboard in the opening event of the 2021 season, the Northern Irishman needed a birdie on Saturday morning to sign for a level-par 72 as the delayed second round was completed, and he was three shots off the lead after 36 holes.
However, McIlroy roared back to come within touching distance of a first win at an event where he has been runner up four times, carding an eagle and five birdies to move one shot clear of three-time Rolex Series winner Hatton, with double Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner Tommy Fleetwood a shot further back.
“Today was a little better. It's so blustery and it's a different type of golf than we're used to playing here in Abu Dhabi where there's usually not much wind. You feel like you have a chance on every hole. There's like a little more scrambling involved and longer putts," said McIlroy.
American David Lipsky and Scot Marc Warren are at ten under par after a pair of 68s, one shot ahead of Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, with Australia's Jason Scrivener at eight under.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Alex Levy holed his tee shot from 163 yards with a nine iron at the par three 15th hole at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to win a BMW M850I Coupe.