McIlroy three shots clear in Ireland

Rory McIlroy had a three shot lead when the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open was called off due to bad light.

On a day with multiple weather interruptions, the Northern Irishman endured in the trying conditions and rolled in two birdies in his 15 holes, enough to take him to nine under for the event.

Masters champion Danny Willett lies on six under, while Russell Knox – who had a fortunate bounce off the rocks on the 16th – and Richard Sterne are four shots off the pace.

McIlroy is still looking for first win in 2016 after a troublesome start to the year.  

"Today was a day to just hang in there and try not to make too many mistakes and that's what I said I wanted to do today," the 27-year-old told europeantour.com.

"No bogeys in 15 holes, that was good. I feel like I left a few out there, but at the same time, I can't complain with a three-shot lead going into tomorrow.

McIlroy added that he thinks the officials made the right decision to end the third round prematurely.

"I think they made the right call," said the four-time major winner.

"It was getting dark out there. I struggled to read my putt on 15 and wasn't really comfortable to hit the tee shot on 16. We can get back out there in the morning, I've got two par 5s on the last three holes to try and get another couple birdies."

McIlroy, Willett and Sterne will all have to complete their third rounds after an early start on Sunday at the K Club.

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