Rory McIlroy leads Tyrrell Hatton by one at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Rory McIlroy talking to Tyrell Hatton during their round
-13 R McIlroy (NI); -12 T Hatton (Eng); -11 T Fleetwood (Eng) -10 M Warren (Sco), D Lipsky (US); -9 R Cabrera Bello (Spa); -8 J Scrivener (Aus)
Selected : -7 C Paisley (Eng), M Wallace (Eng); -6 R Bland (Eng),S Gallacher (Sco); -3 A Sullivan (Eng);-2 C Shinkwin (Eng); -1 J Rose (Eng), D Willett (Eng); +1 L Westwood (Eng)

Rory McIlroy leads the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by one shot from Tyrrell Hatton after a thrilling third round.

Northern Ireland’s McIlroy had an eagle and five birdies in a five-under-par 67 that lifted him to 13 under overall.

Englishman Hatton led by one after two rounds but hit a 71 to slip to second, one shot ahead of compatriot Tommy Fleetwood.

Scotland’s Marc Warren is also in contention after a four-under 68 moved him to within three shots of the lead.

World number six McIlroy, competing in his first European Tour event in 14 months, is seeking his first win at this tournament, having finished runner-up four times.

He completed a level-par 72 second round on Saturday morning, after Friday’s play was curtailed by bad light, to move within three shots of the lead.

World number nine Hatton had led by five when he resumed his second round on Saturday, but that was cut to one by Rafa Cabrera Bello’s late run of birdies.

Hatton, Fleetwood and Cabrera Bello all held the lead at various stages during the third round, before McIlroy edged in front with an eagle at the 10th.

Hatton missed the chance to go level with McIlroy but three-putted the par-five 18th to card a one-under-par round.

“I can’t go into tomorrow thinking it’s my turn. I want to make it my turn,” said McIlroy. “I have to go out there and continue to hit the ball like I hit it on the back nine tonight. If I can do that and give myself plenty of chances, I’ll have a real chance.

“I had that big stroke of luck on 10 – the ball hitting the pin and going in. Apart from that, I played well. I drove it much better on the back nine and I hit it much better on the back nine, so I was really encouraged with that.”

Fleetwood hit a second successive round of 67 to put himself in contention going into the final day, with Warren and American David Lipsky one shot further back.

Spaniard Cabrera Bello, who began the round in second place, is four shots off the lead after a one-over 73.

France’s Alexander Levy is well down the leaderboard but his three-under 69 included a hole-in-one at the 15th.

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