McIlroy stays on course for his bumper payday

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The Independent Online

Rory McIlroy extended his advantage at the halfway point of the race to win the richest first prize in golf. Going into today's third round, the Ulsterman held a two-stroke lead with the $2m (£1.24m) Shanghai Masters jackpot in his sights.

After a bogeyless opening 64, McIlroy struggled on the front nine yesterday, bogeying the fourth. He then hit his drive into the water on the ninth and took a double-bogey to drop back into a four-way share of the lead. But he recovered with four birdies on the back nine to record a 69 to stand at 11 under. His closest pursuer is the Korean Noh Seung-yul, 20, who recorded the lowest round of the event, hitting nine birdies for a 63. Three in the last four vaulted him from joint 18th to second. Lee Westwood is six back from McIlroy.

At the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama Scotland's Richie Ramsay continued to set the pace with a 72 to gotwo ahead of France's Gregory Havret. Two shots back is Sergio Garcia.