McIlroy storms into battle while Rahm takes pole position in Road to Dubai race

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Spain's Jon Rahm leads the Race to Dubai rankings with one round of the World Tour Championship remaining World Tour Championship third round leaderboard-15 J Rahm (Spa), M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra); -13 R Mclroy (NI); -11 T. Fleetwood (Eng); -10 T Pieters (Bel); -9 M Kinhult (Swe); -8 D Willett (Eng), C Bezuidenhout (SA) Selected others: -6 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), T Lewis (Eng); -5 A Sullivan (Eng), S Garcia (Spa), S Lowry (Ire); -4 P Casey (Eng), J Rose (Eng); -3 R MacIntyre (Sco); -2 B Wiesberger (Aut) Full Scoreboard

Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland moved in two shots of joint leaders Jon Rahm and Mike Lorenzo-Vera after the third round of the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai.

McIlroy shot a seven-under-par 65 to go down to 13 for the tournament.

Spain & Rahm advanced level with Frenchman Lorenzo-Vera and took the lead in the provisional Race to Dubai rankings.

The Tommy Fleetwood of England, who has to win to reach the top in the race to Dubai, is four shots back on 11 under.

Sunday's final round at Jumeirah Golf Estates puts an end to the season-long race to the Dubai standings.

The fluctuating fortunes of McIlroy continued while he succeeded 64 and 74 in the first two rounds with his 65 in the third.

The four-fold big winner started with two birdies and that set the tone and grabbed an eagle on the par-five seventh and a birdie on the next hole when he made the turn in 31, five under for the day.

Two more birds followed, on the 14th and 16th, before McIlroy got himself out of trouble on the 18th, heading for a par after a quirky approach shot to end with a bogey-free lap.

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger started the third round at the top of the Race to Dubai ranking, but a 73 saw him drop to two under for the tournament, opening the door for Rahm to take over as the new leader.

The Spaniard picked up a stylish 66 and opened a significant gap over his other biggest challenger in the Race to Dubai, Fleetwood, England, who finished the day in the fourth after managing three birdies in his 70.

Rahm – who would become the second Spaniard to win the race to Dubai or his predecessor the Order of Merit after the late Seve Ballesteros – including: one on the 18th when he put pressure on Lorenzo-Vera.

The Frenchman, who wants to be the first wire-to-wire winner of the World Tour Championship, gave the last lead with a bogey six on the last.

MacIntyre comes closer to rookie of the year title

The Robert MacIntyre of Scotland opened 10 shots ahead of his closest challenger for the prize for the rookie of the year

The Robert MacIntyre of Scotland, but sealed the crown of the European Tour for the rookie of the year – as best placed debutant in the Race to Dubai rankings – with a four-under-par 68, taking him 10 shots far away from closest rival Kurt Kitiyama.

The 23-year-old from Oban has washed away six birdies – five in the opening with seven holes – while moving to three down for the tournament, while Kitiyama, from the United States, a five-over-par 77 played to end in seven with one round to play.

MacIntyre went to the tournament in 11th place in the Race to Dubai, one place for Kitiyama, and was only one shot ahead of his rival at the start of the third round.

Barring a staggering turnaround on the last day, the young Scot, who this year finished sixth on his Open debut at Portrush and claimed seven top-10 finishes in 2019, will join Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle in winning the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award.

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