Lucas Herbert maintains Irish Open lead as Rory McIlroy makes two doubles

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Australian Lucas Herbert shot 2-under 70 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Herbert stands at 15 under, with American Johannes Veerman in solo second and South African Justin Harding in solo third.

Veerman shot 67 to reach 14 under, while Harding carded a 65 to get to 12 under.

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, struggled to an even-par 72. The 2016 champion is 11 back, at 4 under.


Full-field scores from the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open


McIlroy put himself in a hole early with a bogey at the third hole and a lost-ball double bogey at the fourth. He recovered with four birdies, but hit his tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 16th for another double bogey.

“Hopefully, I’ll have a good day tomorrow and shoot a good score,” McIlroy said. “My iron play is pretty good. I hit a couple of bad tee shot today that cost me four shots. Lost ball right on 4 and then out-of-bounds left on 16. The out-of-bounds left was a reaction to missing the previous three drives right.”

Herbert is vying for his second career European Tour title, having captured the 2020 Dubai Desert Classic. The 25-year-old, who has led since an opening 64, had four birdies over his first 10 holes on Saturday. But he played his final seven holes in 2 over par.

“I want to get to 20 under as a personal goal. So, if I can do that, someone’s got to come catch me and if they do, good luck to them,” Herbert said.

“To win the Irish Open would be really cool, whether it’s wire to wire or not. I think it would be a really cool one to put on your resume that you’ve won the Irish Open.”