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Published: 22:55 | 21/5/16

McIlroy "feeling good" at Irish Open

World number three leads at K Club

Rory McIlroy is confident of securing a first win of 2016 after taking a three-stroke lead at the third round at the Irish Open.

The Ulsterman leads Masters champion Danny Willett after 15 holes of the third round following a weather-interrupted third day at the K Club.

Play was suspended twice on Saturday with lightning and thunderstorms threatening, and finally abandoned for the day at 20:30 because of bad light.

Four-time major winner McIlroy, who has six top-10 finishes so far this season, has never won his national title but is well placed to take the £515,000 first prize when play resumes on Sunday morning.

McIlroy, who missed the cut in his previous three appearances in his home event, was the only player not to post a bogey in difficult conditions at the Co. Kildare venue.

"Hopefully conditions are a little better [on Sunday]," McIlroy, 27, said.

"Two par fives with three holes to play — hopefully I can take advantage of those and get a couple of birdies. [My game] it's feeling good."

Shane Lowry is the next highest Irishman on the leaderboard, at one over par following a third-round 71.

"I thought if I got to three-under today, five-under, you're not asking for that much," the 2009 champion said.

"The conditions we had were fairly okay. A couple of tricky pins out there. So wasn't all that easy. But yeah, I mean, I definitely should have shot maybe one or two better today. But that's the way it is.

"I know there's a 64 or 65 out there for me. Just need to get out there and give myself a bit of confidence for next week. Not that far behind. I can still sneak a Top-10 out of this weekend. I can still get myself a good week out of this week. It's not over yet."


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