Rory McIlroy scorched up the leaderboard after carding another brilliant five-under 67 at the Farmers Insurance Open – the County Down golfer is three shots behind Jon Rahm on nine under, with Tiger Woods a further two shots back after a strong front nine.
McIlroy can end the weekend as the world number one if he wins the season-opening tournament and he has given himself a shot at doing just that after moving to nine-under for the tournament, three off clubhouse leader Jon Rahm.
Having opened with a 67, the Northern Irishman stuttered to a one-over 73 on Friday that looked like it had left him with too much to do.
The four-time major winner has never tasted victory in any of his season-opening events from 12 attempts, but an excellent Saturday showing has set him up for a final-day rattle at taking the title in San Diego and thus reclaiming the top spot in the world rankings.
Rahm chipped in for a birdie on his first hole on Saturday and holed for eagle from 111 yards on the next, going on to finish the day on 12-under par after a seven-under 65.
The Spaniard said having won the tournament three years ago would make no difference to him on Sunday.
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