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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 11 May 2021
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McIlroy slips back as Harrington's odds of going to Dubai fade

There was little good news for supporters of Irish golf in Hong Kong overnight as Alvaro Quiros took charge of the event.

RORY McILROY’S HOPES of catching Race to Dubai leader Luke Donald were dented significantly on Saturday.

Sharing the overnight lead at the Hong Kong Open, a round of 70 dropped the US Open champion back to fifth (-7) and three strokes behind leader Alvaro Quiros.

Playing alongside the Spaniard, McIlroy dropped shots after finding sand on the fourth and planting his ball behind a tree on the fifth. He then went without a birdie until the 13th and though another followed on 17, the mini recovery wasn’t enough to allow him maintain the front pace.

The Holywood man needs to finish in the top two in Hong Kong to retain any chance of catching Donald at the last event of the season, but remained upbeat after signing his card.

“Mentally I just wasn’t at the races, and struggled to get anything going,” McIlroy said afterwards (see EuropeanTour.com).

“It was one of those days where nothing much was happening, and it was nice to birdie a couple coming in to keep me in it. I’m only three behind, so if I can get off to a decent start (on Sunday), I’m right back in it.”

A bogey-free round of 67 was enough to see Quiros top of the leaderboard in his own right on -10. After seeing his playing partner drop shots early on in the day, the five-time European winner moved further ahead of his rival with a birdie on seven. Further birdies on 12 and 17 saw him finish one stroke ahead of Swede Peter Hanson (-9) and two ahead of YE Yang and Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul (-8).

Peter Lawrie lies in a share of 18th and on three-under, while a round of 70 was enough to see Padraig Harrington to make the cut. He, however, needs a good finish if he is to make a late bid to join the top 60 golfers in Dubai next week as he currently lies 67th and over €53,000 behind the golfer in 60th position.

And who could the golfer in 60th position possibly be? None other than compatriot Peter Lawrie….

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