Published Saturday, 01 February 2014
McIlroy has been hit with a bout of food poisoning. (© Getty)
The Holywood golfer and former world number one, went into Saturday's round with the lead and was confident of maintaining his form to take the victory on Sunday.
However, a sensational round from defending champion Stephen Gallacher knocked the 24-year-old of the top spot.
Gallacher shot a brilliant round of 63 to take the lead, with the Scot scoring 10 under in the last 10 holes of the round.
McIlory, who won the competition in 2009, carded a three under round of 69.
He hit two bogeys, three birdies and an eagle to finish on 14 under for the tournament.
"It was okay," said McIlroy, who said he was not quite 100% after a bout of food poisoning caused by takeaway food on Thursday night.
"I didn't drive the ball particularly well, I'm probably going to work on a few things on the range and I felt like I hit a lot of good putts that just didn't go in.
"I felt like I left a few out there but it was a tricky day and shooting anything under 70 wasn't a bad score. Obviously Stephen had a phenomenal round, 63 today is a really impressive effort."
Told Gallacher was 10 under for the last 10 holes, McIlroy added: "I didn't know that. That's a great stretch of holes and hopefully he doesn't continue it tomorrow.
"I played with him the first two days and he played very well.
"Obviously he was on fire today, I just need to go out there and try to hit a few more fairways, focus on a few things in my game, not really focus on what he's doing and make a few putts and see where it puts me.
"It's the second week in a row for me going into the last day with a chance to win, it's a great position to be in."
© UTV News