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Rory McIlroy in prime position to strike after weather-affected day at K Club

Published 21/05/2016

Pablo Larrazabal was making an early move on day three at The K Club
Pablo Larrazabal was making an early move on day three at The K Club

Tournament host Rory McIlroy got everything he wanted apart from the weather as he moved into pole position to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open for the first time at The K Club.

McIlroy had missed the cut in his home event for the last three years, but added a second round of 70 to his opening 67 to head into the third round just a shot off the lead shared by Masters champion Danny Willett and Scotland's Marc Warren.

And, despite failing to engage the extra gear he felt necessary to claim a first win of the season, the four-time major winner found himself with a three-shot lead with three holes to play before play was suspended due to darkness after two delays for bad weather.

"I think they made the right call," said the 27-year-old, who was involved in a lengthy discussion with a rules official on the 16th tee before play was finally abandoned for the day.

" 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. A ctually the tee shot would have been okay to hit I think, but I didn't feel the point to hit one tee shot and come back tomorrow morning anyway to play the second shot.

"I don't feel like we delayed it too much by not hitting that tee shot. I think they made the right decision and I'm happy that I can go out there in the morning and hopefully hit that tee shot in the sunshine.

"I've got two par fives in the last three holes to try and get another couple birdies and go into the final round with a nice lead. I birdied the two par fives that I played and parred everything else, and if I can birdie the other two par in the morning, I'll be happy with my day's work.

"I feel like my game is good enough that I'll keep giving myself chances, hit fairways, hit greens, and if I can knock a few in, hopefully that will be good enough to get the job done."

After Willett had missed from three feet for par on the second, McIlroy's two-putt birdie on the par-five fourth gave him the outright lead for the first time, although Willett soon birdied the same hole to get back on level terms.

However, the world number nine then failed to get up and down from right of the sixth green and drove into the water on the seventh to card back-to-back bogeys, leaving McIlroy out in front.

Danny Willett of England tees off on the 7th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Danny Willett of England tees off on the 7th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 9th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Danny Willett of England looks down the 6th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Danny Willett of England hits his 3rd shot on the 6th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 4th tee during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland checking the direction of the wind during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 2nd tee during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Matthew Southgate of England reacts on the 5th tee during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Marc Warren of Scotland reacts on the 5th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walking to the 5th tee during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Marc Warren of Scotland tees off on the 4th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks with an umbrella on the 5th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Matthew Southgate of England tees off on the 3rd hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Matthew Southgate of England wait on the 4th tee during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland stands under an umbrella on the 4th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his approach to the 2nd green during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Tyrrell Hatton of England tees off on the 1st hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Spain's Pablo Larrazabal chips onto the 10th green during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 21, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Marc Warren of Scotland warms up on the range during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Spain's Pablo Larrazabal plays his second shot on the 10th hole during day three of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 21, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium tees off on the 2nd hole during the third round of Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Graeme McDowell of Norther Ireland tees off on the 2nd hole during the third round of Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Robert Dinwiddie of England tees off on the 4th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium tees off on the 2nd hole during the third round of Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland's parents Godfrey and Hettie Clarke follow their son during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand walks across a bridge on the 1st hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland walks across a bridge to the 1st hole with his caddie Ken Comboy during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Paul McGinley of Ireland tees off on the 2nd hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 21: Shane Lowry of Ireland gives a thumbs up on the 12th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ricardo Gouveia of Portugal hits his 2nd shot on the 11th hole during the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 21, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Matthew Southgate of England in action on the ninth hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Matthew Southgate of England in action on the ninth hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Paul McGinley of Ireland during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Matthew Southgate of England in action on the ninth hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Paul Lawrie of Scotland waits on the 11th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Shane Lowry of Ireland on the par four 11th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Shane Lowry of Ireland reacts to his 2nd shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy waves at the crowd on the tenth tee during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. Pic- PA
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Padraig Harrington of Ireland walks up the 10th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium tees off on the 11th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Johan Carlsson of Sweden tees off on the 11th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Nicole Willett watches her husband Danny in action during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Paul McGinley of Ireland hits an approach shot during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England lines up a putt with caddie Jonathan Smart on the 9th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium hits his 3rd shot on the 10th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England chips to the 9th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
England's Danny Willett on the 9th tee box during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England lines up on the 9th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England talks to the media after completing his round during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England watches his tee shot on the 8th hole as Lee Westwood and Rafa Cabrera-Bello walk off during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Crowds watch Danny Willett of England chip to the 9th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England tees off on the 8th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy walks off the 9th green after completing his round during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy walks off the 9th green after completing his round during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England tees off on the 9th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Large crowds watch Danny Willett of England during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: The fiancee of Rory McIlroy, Erica Stoll follow his group during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England tees off on the 7th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
England's Danny Willett after his second shot on the 7th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England tees off on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Lee Westwood of England reacts to his tee shot on the 2nd hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England tees off on the 17th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Lee Westwood of England hits his 2nd shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Felipe Aguilar of Chile hits his tee-shot on the 7th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free IrisFelipe Aguilar of Chile waits on the 7th hole h Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England waits on the 3rd tee during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 15th tee during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Felipe Aguilar of Chile hits his tee-shot on the 7th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free IrisFelipe Aguilar of Chile waits on the 7th hole h Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy watches his second shot on the 5th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy plays onto the 5th green during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Richie Ramsay of Scotland tees off on the 12th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Jamie Donaldson of Wales looks towards the pin on the 18th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England hits his approach on the 1st hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot in to the par five 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Haotong Li of China chips on the practice ground during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tees off on the 5th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Soomin Lee of Korea hits from a bunker on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Soomin Lee of Korea hits from a bunker on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Lee Westwood of England hits his 2nd shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Lee Westwood of England hits his approach to the 18th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland pulls a club as caddie Gerry Byrne looks on during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England hits his approach to the 18th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after his 3rd shot on the 17th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the 17th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Marc Warren of Scotland lines up with his caddie Ken Herring on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Jaco van Zyl of South Africa hits a bunker shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Marc Warren of Scotland celebrates a birdie on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Marc Warren of Scotland lines up with his caddie Ken Herring on the 18th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Marc Warren of Scotland tees off on the 1st hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland's mother Rose and Fiancee Erica Stoll follow his group during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland tees off on the 1st hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
England's Danny Willett on the 15th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
England's Danny Willett tees of on the 16th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Andy Sullivan of England reacts to a missed putt on the 15th green during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
England's Danny Willett hits his second shot on the 16th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
England's Danny Willett putts on the 15th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks to the 16th tee during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks to the 16th tee during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Mike Lorenzo-Vera of France walks over the bridge on the 6th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
England's Lee Westwood hits his second shot on the 15th hole during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy on the 13th green during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy makes his way to the 14th tee box during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his 2nd shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy on the 14th tee during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Callum Shinkwin of England looks down the 7th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Richard Bland of England gestures on the 6th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
STRAFFAN, IRELAND - MAY 20: Danny Willett of England tees off on the 10th hole during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 20, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during day two of the Irish Open at The K Club, County Kildare. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2016. See PA story GOLF Irish. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No false commercial association. No video emulation. No manipulation of images.

Willett had just teed off on the 10th when the siren sounded to suspend play due to the threat of lightning in the area, with McIlroy missing a long eagle putt across the green in the group ahead.

Play eventually resumed after a delay of two hours and twenty minutes and McIlroy wasted no time in tapping in for his second birdie of the day to move to nine under and extend his lead to three shots.

Unfortunately, only 39 minutes of play was possible before another suspension, McIlroy running the length of the par-three 14th to mark his ball in the fringe after the siren sounded again.

Surprisingly play restarted shortly before 8pm, but McIlroy completed just two more holes as more rain fell and the decision was finally taken to abandon play for the day, with a restart scheduled for 0730 on Sunday.

Willett remained three shots behind with Scotland's Russell Knox and South Africa's Richard Sterne another stroke adrift, Knox making a fortunate birdie on the 16th after his approach hit rocks on the edge of a water hazard but bounced forward on to the green.

Knox, who dumped three balls into the water on the 17th while in contention for the Players Championship last week, parred the 18th to set the clubhouse target on five under and said: " I think I was due a good break.

"I had a good hybrid distance on 16 and I just chunked it. I had given up on it to be honest and when I saw it hit the rock, I was like, that's going forward. So I was very fortunate there."

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello had been six under par with two holes to play only to find water off the tee on the 17th to run up a double bogey before the first suspension.

And the world number 30, who beat McIlroy in the third-fourth place play-off in the WGC-Dell Match Play in March, then bogeyed the last on the resumption to join France's Gregory Bourdy and Romain Wattel in the clubhouse on three under.

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