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Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Sunday, 1 February 2009

McIlroy ahead after third round

-17 R McIlroy (NI) -15 L Oosthuizen (SA) -13 R Green (Aus), J Rose (Eng)
-12 P Casey (Eng), H Stenson (Swe)
Selected others: -10 T Levet (Fr), A Wall (Eng) -7 S Garcia (Sp), M Jimenez (Sp) -6 C Montgomerie (Sco) -3 L Westwood (Eng) -1 D Clarke (NI)
Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy added two further birdies to his third round on Sunday morning

Northern Ireland teenager Rory McIlroy retained his two-shot lead as the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic was completed early on Sunday morning.

McIlroy had been 15 under par after 10 holes of his third round when play was halted for bad light on Saturday.

He eventually went round in 67 to go 17 under, two shots ahead of in-form South African Louis Oosthuizen.

Australia's Richard Green and England's Justin Rose are two shots behind Oosthuizen going into the final round.

McIlroy, 19, had earlier followed up his second-round eagle with another eagle at the 10th just before play was curtailed on Saturday evening.

He picked up a birdie on the 11th - his first hole of the day - but had to wait until the 18th before picking up another shot after an expertly executed chip from the rough onto the green.

Only 17 of the 68 remaining players had completed their third rounds on Saturday, with Frenchman Thomas Levet the overnight clubhouse leader on 10 under par.

It meant that the players were out on the course early on Sunday to make up for time lost to fog on the first two days.

"It would be a huge first victory, it's one of the best events on Tour," said McIlroy, who will turn 20 in May, on Saturday evening.

"For this to be my first win, if I could pull it off, it would be absolutely fantastic.

"I think I have learnt a lot from those experiences. It will stand me in good stead and hopefully if I keep playing the way I am, I'll definitely be able to go close."

McIlroy rated Saturday's second eagle - which featured a five-iron approach to within two feet for a tap-in - as the better of the two.

"Louis made birdie on seven just before me and I knew I had to just grind out the putt and I holed it for par which was nice," he added.

"It was then a great way to finish and puts me into a great position going into Sunday morning."

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