(Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy surged through the field at the Dunhill Links Championship on Saturday, a blistering eight-under 64 moving him within three strokes of tournament leader Oliver Wilson of Britain.
Northern Irishman McIlroy took advantage of perfect scoring conditions at St Andrews to finish in joint second place with a three-round total of 204.
Also on 12-under overall in the pro-am event were Frenchmen Raphael Jacquelin (69) and Alexander Levy (68) and Briton Tommy Fleetwood (62).
McIlroy was particularly pleased his father Gerry birdied the 18th hole to ensure he would spend his 55th birthday on Sunday playing the Old Course with his son.
“Dad and I are going to get to play St Andrews on his birthday which will be a huge treat for both of us,” Rory told reporters.
Former Ryder Cup player Wilson, who has slumped to 792nd in the world rankings, is looking for his maiden European Tour victory after having collected nine runner-up finishes.
”I expect Rory to shoot the lights out every time he tees it up,“ said the 34-year-old Englishman. ”The other names on the leaderboard don’t really affect me.
“I‘m just doing my thing, trying to shoot as good a score as I can, get it in play, one shot at a time, all the boring stuff.”
Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Pritha Sarkar