ST. ANDREWS, Scotland - Oliver Wilson closed in on a maiden European Tour title when he moved three shots clear of the field in the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Saturday.
Wilson, playing with an invitation after losing full playing rights on the tour in 2011, shot 7-under 65 on the Old Course at St. Andrews to sit at 15-under 201.
On his tail at 12 under were four players: Rory McIlroy (64), Tommy Fleetwood (62), third-round leader Raphael Jacquelin (69) and Alexander Levy (68). who all played St. Andrews.
Each of the first three rounds was played on three courses. Today's final round is played only on St. Andrews.
Heavy overnight rain caused an hour's delay to the start of play, and officials adopted the preferred lie rule, meaning Fleetwood's and Louis Oosthuizen's 10-under 62s weren't counted as tying the Old Course record.
Before he lost his card, Wilson, 34, a 2008 Ryder Cup player, was runnerup nine times on the tour, including in this event in 2009. This is his 229th tour event.
"There is a long 18 holes still to go, so it will be a long day, but to win would mean a lot to me," said Wilson, ranked 792.
He also wasn't fazed when McIlroy surged on the front nine to tie him briefly. McIlroy birdied five straight holes and made the turn at 7-under 30. But he hit into a bunker on the 16th, took two shots to get out and bogeyed the hole he eagled the day before. His 64 was one off his best on the course.
"That was mission accomplished," McIlroy said. "The last four holes wasn't really what I wanted, but any time you shoot a score like that around St. Andrews, you have to be happy. Got myself into contention going into (today), and Dad and I are going to get to play St. Andrews on his birthday (today), which will be a huge treat for both of us."
McIlroy is playing the pro-am event with his father, Gerry, who turns 55 today.
LPGA: Second-round leader Stacy Lewis recovered from a slow start with four birdies on the back nine to shoot 1-under 72 for a share of the lead with Caroline Hedwall (68) at 13-under 206 heading into the final round of the LPGA Reignwood Classic at Beijing. Brittany Lang (72) and Mirim Lee (70) were 11 under.