Is it lastly Rory McIlroy’s flip in Abu Dhabi? He leads by one after 54 holes

One may argue that Rory McIlroy is due in Abu Dhabi.

The 31-year-old McIlroy owns 4 profession runner-up finishes and three extra top-Three showings on the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he’s as soon as once more in rivalry coming into Sunday’s closing spherical. McIlroy carded 5 birdies and an eagle as a part of a 5-under 67 Saturday to maneuver to 13 underneath and take a one-shot lead over Tyrrell Hatton, who had led by 5 photographs when the second spherical was suspended for darkness on Friday.

McIlroy’s third spherical was highlighted by a fortunate break on the par-5 10th gap, the place McIlroy pitched in for eagle from 73 yards. His ball would’ve raced effectively previous the opening and certain off the inexperienced however as an alternative hit the flagstick and dropped.

Regardless of his glowing report and continued success in Abu Dhabi, McIlroy is anticipating a struggle on Sunday. Not solely is Hatton only a shot again, however two-time Abu Dhabi winner Tommy Fleetwood shot 67 Saturday to maneuver to 11 underneath, two photographs behind.

“I am unable to go into tomorrow considering it is my flip,” mentioned McIlroy, who 3 times has misplaced by a shot in Abu Dhabi. “I wish to make it my flip. I’ve to go on the market and proceed to hit the ball like I hit it on the again 9 [today]. If I can try this and provides myself loads of possibilities, I will have an actual probability.”

McIlroy hasn’t gained because the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, although even when he does not win Sunday he can nonetheless notch a top-5 end in his first occasion of the season for the eighth straight 12 months and 13th time within the final 14 years. Additionally, McIlroy is 12 for 22 in his skilled profession changing a minimum of a share of the 54-hole lead right into a win, per Justin Ray of 15th Club. McIlroy’s final 54-hole lead got here finally 12 months’s Genesis Invitational, the place he closed in 73 to tie for fifth.

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