Rory McIlroy falters as Alviro Quiros leads Hong Kong Open

Rory McIlroy at the Hong Kong Open
McIlroy followed up rounds of 64 and 69 with a level-par 70

A disappointing third round left Rory McIlroy three shots off the lead in the Hong Kong Open.

The Northern Irishman slipped to fifth after carding a level-par 70 as Alvaro Quiros's 67 gave him the outright lead on 10 under par.

Quiros is one stroke clear of Peter Hanson, while England's Ian Poulter went round in 67 to move to four under.

"I just didn't have anything out there and mentally I wasn't at the races," said McIlroy.

"But then I am only three behind and if I can get off to a decent start tomorrow I am right back in it."

The US Open champion, who must finish in the top two to have any chance of overhauling Luke Donald in the Race to Dubai, .

However, he found sand at the fourth en route to two bogeys in the first five holes. Birdies on the 13th and 17th only partly repaired the damage.

Spaniard Quiros, by contrast, did not drop a shot all day and a birdie on the penultimate hole enabled him to hold off the challenge of Sweden's Hanson.

"I only used the driver four times today so this golf course is still a very different challenge for me," said the big-hitting Quiros.

Hanson's 65 featured four birdies on the back nine, while South Korean YE Yang also went round in five under at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

"It was nice," Hanson said. "To sum it up, it was very good putting."

Yang rated his chances as "fairly good", adding: "I'm in a good position - better than being ahead in the first or second round."

Yang heads into the final day tied for third with Thailand's Pariya Junhasavasdikul, with McIlroy their closest challenger and Englishman David Horsey one of five players who are a further two shots adrift on five under par.

Poulter, whose outward nine contained four birdies and two bogeys, said: "This week is as tough as the course has played."

McIlroy is third in the order of merit, £970,000 behind Englishman Donald, who is not playing in this event.

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