Published Sunday, 02 March 2014
McIlory had mixed third round. (© Getty)
Holywood man McIlroy moved to within touching distance of his first PGA Tour title since 2012 with a third-round 69.
The former world number one shot his poorest round of the tournament mixing four birdies with three bogeys - although he was unlucky not to pick up another couple of shots with putts that went close - but his performance was enough to put him 12 under, two clear of American Russell Henley.
McIlroy told pgatour.com: "I'm happy to maintain the lead I had, to extend it by a shot and shoot under par.
"It was tricky conditions, the wind was stronger than it has been all week. I think anything under par, especially if you were in the last few groups, was a good score."
McIlroy was not quite at his best, missing a couple of short putts and also requiring a drop at the seventh when he escaped with a bogey which could have been much worse.
He also suffered some misfortune, though, with excellent putts at 17 and 18 which just did not drop.
"If I can just keep hitting the fairways and hitting the greens sooner or later they're going to drop for me," he said.
Of his final round, he added: "More of the same. I'm two ahead. This course is all about putting your ball in play, trying not to make mistakes, picking up birdies when you can.
"If you can limit the damage as much as possible I think that's the key, especially when conditions are like this."
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