Rory McIlroy entered the DP World Championship knowing that if he played reasonably well, he’d win the overall Final series and the big prize money that goes with it.
It’s starting to look like that’s not going to be enough for McIlroy.
The world’s No 3-ranked player fired the best round of the day, a 7-under 65, to close within one stroke of the lead currently held by Andy Sullivan.
McIlroy had eight birdies and just one bogey on the day, his best round. Sullivan shot a 68 after consecutive 66s to stand at 16-under. McIlroy is 15-under.
The cream is definitely rising to the top as the tournament progresses. Five of the top 10 players in the Race to Dubai standings are ranked in the top 10 on the leader board, and a sixth, American Patrick Reed, is ranked 14th in the world.
Danny Willett, McIlroy’s chief competitor for the Final Series title, shot a 67 and is tied for sixth at 11-under, four strokes behind McIlroy, who he must finish ahead of to have a shot at winning.
Reed is third at 13-under, while Byeong Hun An and Emilliano Grillo are tied for fourth at 12-under.
Willett is tied for sixth with young Matthew Fitzpatrick and Race to Dubai No. 8 Thongchai Jaidee, while South Africans Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel are tied for ninth at 10-under.