Saturday, 05 March 2016
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

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Rory McIlroy's excellent form on the greens continued as he opened up a one-shot lead during the third round of the World Golf Championships - Cadillac Championship.

The Northern Irishman turned in 33 at Trump National Doral to get to 11 under and needed just 13 putts after taking 23 strokes with the short stick in his round of 65 on Friday.

McIlroy's change of putting grip to left-below-right has been one of the stories of the week in Florida and his form on the greens, combined with some beautiful iron play, moved him ahead of overnight leader and playing partner Adam Scott.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson was then at eight under with Anirban Lahiri and Charley Hoffman a shot further back, one clear of Phil Mickelson.

The Spanish duo of Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Sergio Garcia were in clubhouse at five under alongside Danny Willett, Paul Casey and Bubba Watson.

The big-hitting duo of Johnson and Watson both took advantage of the par five first for birdies with Hoffman making gains on the second and third.

McIlroy put his second shot on the opener into the bunker protecting the front of the green but got up-and-down nicely to join Johnson one off the lead as Scott made his par.

Watson and Willett then both dropped back thanks to double-bogeys after finding the water off the tee on the third and McIlroy and Scott both saved par on the same hole after trouble off the tee, with McIlroy producing a brilliant chip from over the green.

Johnson dropped two shots off the lead with a bogey on the par three fourth after missing the green, but that gap was reduced when Scott found the sand and repeated the trick.

An excellent approach and a seven-foot putt then moved McIlroy ahead on his own on the fifth and the leading duo both made birdies on the par five eighth, McIlroy finding two bunkers on his way down the fairway.

Hoffman gave back his two early gains on the fifth and ninth but got back to one under for the day on the tenth, while Lahiri had gains on the sixth, eighth and tenth after starting birdie-bogey.

Mickelson was one under for the day through ten holes after two birdies and a bogey.

Cabrera-Bello and Garcia both began the day at level par but fired a pair of 67s to get themselves into contention.

A pair of second place finishes on the Desert Swing have helped move Cabrera-Bello to fifth in The Race to Dubai and he was one over for the tournament before six birdies in ten holes from the seventh moved him up the leaderboard.

Garcia had a single blemish on the 14th in his round as he plays his second European Tour event of the season following a tie for seventh at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SCOTT, AdamAUS18-12
2WATSON, BubbaUSA18-11
T3WILLETT, DannyENG18-10
6WALKER, JimmyUSA18-8

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