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Rory McIlroy fights back in third round of Dubai Desert Classic to close in on Cameron Young

Rory McIlroy staged a brilliant comeback as he jumped from joint 24th to put himself back in contention for victory in Dubai as leader Cameron Young had a difficult round; the Dubai Desert Classic concludes on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Golf from 4am

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Watch the best of the action as Rory McIlroy was in sensational form on Day Three of the Dubai Desert Classic

Rory McIlroy produced a superb bogey-free third round to leap up the leaderboard to joint-second at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic as he shot a 63 to close within two shots of leader Cameron Young.

McIlroy came into the day tied 24th and 10 shots behind Young but his nine under on Saturday changed everything as the American only scored one under.

The three-time winner of the event in Dubai made seven birdies and finished off his round with a stunning eagle to the delight of the crowd.

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Watch the best of the action from day three of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

At one point McIlroy was top of the leaderboard as Young struggled on the front nine, making just one birdie and was left frustrated after a double bogey and bogey on the seventh and eighth.

McIlroy birdied the three toughest holes: the seventh, eight and ninth, which underlined his confidence after two difficult days in Dubai.

Young limited the damage though with three birdies on the back nine to take a two-shot advantage into Sunday. The day was all about McIlroy though, which ended with a brilliant eagle.

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Rory McIlroy says it would be 'amazing' if was able to secure a fourth victory at the Dubai Desert Classic

"I was walking up with the putter in my hand but then I thought I sort of want to chip it. The line wasn't great, so I thought I would ride my luck with the putter and it came out perfectly," said McIlroy.

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"It wasn't as fast as I thought it would be once it got on the green but it was tracking perfectly. A huge bonus for something like that to go in."

Last week, McIlroy narrowly lost to Tommy Fleetwood in the Dubai Invitational by one shot after a dramatic final hole.

He plans to play more events in the lead up to The Masters - live on Sky Sports from April 11-14 - in a bid to complete the career Grand Slam.

Rory McIlroy
Image: McIlroy started the day 10 shots off the lead but is now in prime position to record his fourth victory in Dubai

McIlroy has given himself a big chance of becoming the first player to win the Dubai Desert Classic four times and admits it would be "amazing" if he can continue his "fantastic" golf going into the final round.

"I played some very, very good golf, definitely better than I played the last couple of days and it's nice to get myself right back in the tournament," he added.

"I thought if I could play the front nine better, I played it scrappily the last couple days. For me the key to this golf course is that front nine because it's the tougher nine and if you can play that well, you give yourself a tonne of momentum going into the more scorable back nine."

Cameron Young
Image: Cameron Young still leads going into the final round but faces the pressure of world No 2 Rory McIlroy

McIlroy, who won his first professional tournament at this event 15 years ago, is tied on 12 under overall with Poland's Adrian Meronk, who had a round of 70.

Rasmus Hojgaard and Li Haotong are five shots off leader Young, with Joaquin Niemann in sixth and Thorbjorn Olesen tied in seventh along with England's Tommy Fleetwood and Alex Fitzpatrick on seven under.

Watch the final round of Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday 4am on Sky Sports Golf to see if Rory McIlroy can complete an incredible comeback. Stream golf and more top sport with NOW.

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