• Singapore Open, Round Three

McIlroy still battling as Harrington misses the cut

ESPN staff
November 10, 2012 « Sonnen: Rousey's another rival Rampage can't beat | Chartbeat test »
Rory McIlroy has nine holes of his third round still to play © Getty Images
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Singapore Open leaderboard

Rory McIlroy retained enough focus to stay in contention on a third straight weather-affected day at the Singapore Open, but he heads into Sunday with nine holes of his third round still to complete in what has become a draining competition.

McIlroy went into the weekend on one-under, with six holes of his second round still to be played. He managed to card a second consecutive 70 to move to two-under, before a quick start to the third saw him move to an overall score of four-under, eventually interrupted by darkness.

As a result, the world No. 1 is five shots behind leader Thomas Bjorn, who faces an even more taxing schedule with 33 holes still to play. The Dane added a 67 to his opening 66 to move to nine-under, giving him a one-stroke advantage heading into Sunday.

England's Chris Wood is the closest chaser after a second-round 65 fired him into contention. Wood then birdied one of his opening three holes of the third round to increase the pressure on Bjorn.

The performance of the day, however, was produced by South African George Coetzee, who responded to his opening effort of 72 with a sparkling 63 that did not include a single bogey. He is within two of the leader while Francesco Molinari is a stroke further back.

McIlroy will feel he should be level with Molinari, after the game's top player double-bogeyed the par-four sixth. He had been flying thanks to an eagle at the fourth, but things went wrong off the tee at the 444-yard sixth to spoil that good work.

Louis Oosthuizen sits level with McIlroy having played four fewer holes, while Paul Casey is on two-under after he stumbled to a 73 in the second round.

Phil Mickelson battled hard to avoid the cut after a double-bogey seven at the seventh left him in real trouble during his second round. Three birdies eventually rescued the situation but the American is back on one-under.

There was no such luck for Padraig Harrington, though, who followed a 74 with a 73 to depart the competition on five-over.

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