Rory McIlroy came out early Saturday morning to finish his second round at the Emirates Golf Club and then went to breakfast with the 36-hole lead.
McIlroy passed Jamie Donaldson and was 15-under through 36 at the Dubai Desert Classic.
That all changed later in the third round when Chinese star Haotong Li put up an eight-under par 64 then matched McIlroy with a birdie at the 18th to get to 20-under par. McIlroy goes into the final round at 19-under after shooting 68.
McIlroy struggled over his first nine holes, turning one-over. But he quickly turned that around with an eight-foot eagle putt at the par five 10th. He finished the final nine five-under to stay right on Li’s heels.
South African Haydn Porteous and Frenchman Alex Levy both shot 65s and are tied at 17-under. Levy’s round was highlighted by a hole-in-one at the par three fourth hole.
Round of the day was a 63 by Andy Sullivan and he’ll start the final round 16-under par.