McIlroy falls off the pace in Dubai

Stenson, Cabrera-Bello stay top as McIlroy's double bogeys on consecutive holes to fall four strokes behind.

    McIlroy had started the third round two shorts behind the leaders [REUTERS]
    McIlroy had started the third round two shorts behind the leaders [REUTERS]

    Rory McIlroy made double bogeys on successive holes in the third round of the $8 million DP World Tour Championship, slipping four strokes behind joint-leaders Henrik Stenson and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

    World number one McIlroy began two shots adrift of Sweden's Stenson, but the Northern Irishman sunk birdies on holes 5-7 and another at 10 to pull level. Then came 20 minutes of golf that will haunt McIlroy.

    On the par-four 12, the 25-year-old found the bunker, recovered to within 30 feet of the pin, but rolled a putt six feet long and then missed again going back the other way.

    At the par-three 13, McIlroy's tee-shot found the gallery and twice he underplayed chips before double-putting. He sunk birdies on 14 and 18 -- the latter after fluffing an eagle chance -- for 70 and a 10-under 206.

    "I'll try to get off to a fast start, put some pressure on," McIlroy told reporters. "I can't afford to stay patient tomorrow. I need to get some birdies from the off."

    Defending champion Stenson, 38, sunk four birdies to card 68 and a 14-under 202. He has not dropped a shot for 32 holes.

    Spain's Cabrera-Bello (65) is level with Stenson on 202, Justin Rose (68) is on 205 and four players are a stroke further back - McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson (67), Tyrrell Hatton (68), Thorbjorn Olesen (69).

    SOURCE: Reuters


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