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McIlroy poised to claim number one

Rory McIlroy held a two-stroke lead going into the round which could see him crowned world number one for the first time.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman's joint best-of-the-day 66 at the Honda Classic in Florida on Saturday took him to 11 under par - and his two closest challengers entering the final day were players ranked 269th and 216th.

They were Americans Tom Gillis and Harris English, the former a 43-year-old self-confessed journeyman and the other a 22-year-old rookie professional.

England's Justin Rose had shared the halfway lead with Gillis, but had to scramble for all he was worth for a one-over 71 that left him in joint fourth place and four behind.

McIlroy said: "This is where I want to be. This is why I play golf, to put myself in contention to win tournaments and try to become the best player in the world."

Asked if he had learnt anything from last week he stated: "It's a different format and the approach is slightly different.

"I didn't have as much time to think about it there because I went straight from the semi-final (a win over Lee Westwood) into the final.

"I've just got to try to approach it like any other tournament."

Compatriot Graeme McDowell's 69 put him in a share of 10th place, but he was seven back, while England's little-known Nationwide Tour graduate Gary Christian was one further behind following a second successive 67.

Tiger Woods was in 18th place on two under after a 69 and Westwood (70) one under after playing with the former world number one for the third day in a row.


From Belfast Telegraph