Rory McIlroy’s hopes of snatching The Race to Dubai title from Luke Donald suffered a blow as the World Number Two slipped two behind Alvaro Quiros at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
Needing at least a top-two finish to keep The Race alive going into the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World, the 22 year old looked to be well on course at nine under par with three holes of his second round remaining.
Two ahead of big-hitting Quiros at that stage, a series of wild drives cost him two shots, leaving him tied for the lead with the Spaniard overnight on seven under par.
But while Quiros began his third round with five straight pars, the US Open Champion had back-to-back bogeys at the fourth and fifth to slip to five under.
While Quiros led the way, Korea’s Y E Yang produced three birdies on the way out to move into solo second on six under.
McIlroy was joined on five under by South African Peter Karmis, Thailand’s Panupol Pittayarat and Pariya Junhasavasdikul, New Zealander Danny Lee and Ryder Cup partners Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jiménez.