Rory McIlroy has fired a 67 to move back to top of a leaderboard dominated by British players going into the last round of the Abu Dhabi Championship.
The four-time major winner has not tasted victory for almost 15 months but showed glimpses of his best form as he moved to 13-under at an event where he has finished second four times.
Australia’s challenge at the prestigious European Tour event still cannot be ruled out, though, with Jason Scrivener lying seventh, five shots off the lead, and Wade Ormsby in joint-eighth, another shot behind.
McIlroy’s position as Britain’s top player has come under threat in recent months as he has fallen to world No.6, with Tyrrell Hatton moving into the top 10, and the Englishman was his nearest challenger at 12-under after a 71.
Another English Ryder Cup hero, Tommy Fleetwood, is at 11-under, a shot clear of Scot Marc Warren and American David Lipsky.
With those four runner-up finishes and three thirds at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy will be the favourite heading into the final 18 holes, but he was refusing to take anything for granted.
“I can’t go into tomorrow thinking it’s my turn,” he said.
“I want to make it my turn. I have to go out there and continue to hit the ball like I hit it on the back nine tonight. If I can do that and give myself plenty of chances, I’ll have a real chance.”
Scrivener, the 31-year-old Perth player, recorded a one-under-par 71 while 40-year-old Ormsby shot a 70.
Lucas Herbert’s challenge, which had started brightly, faded after a third round 74, which leaves him on six-under, seven shots off the lead.