DP World Tour Championship 2012: Day 3 Leaderboard, Analysis and More

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 24, 2012

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 24:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off at the par 5, second hole during the third round of the 2012 DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 24, 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

The No. 1- and No. 2-ranked players in the world are sitting atop of the leaderboard after 54 holes at the 2012 DP World Tour Championship from the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy matched Luke Donald's six-under, 66 on Saturday to finish the round tied atop the leaderboard with the man chasing his top ranking. Meanwhile, a foursome of South Africans, headlined by major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, are still in the hunt with 18 holes left to play.

Here's a look at Day 3's top storylines and how the Top 10 will look heading into Sunday's final round.

Luke Donald Solidifying No. 2 Status

Shortly before the DP World Tour Championship began this November, it was announced that Luke Donald leaped Tiger Woods for the world No. 2 ranking after winning the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan.

After a very strong 54-hole showing so far in Dubai, it's obvious that Donald is proving worthy of his new ranking. The British star shot a seven-under on Day 1, followed that up with a four-under on Day 2 and finished Saturday's Day 3 with a six-under, 66 to secure a share of the lead heading into Sunday's final round.

If Donald can remain poised through the last 18 holes and fend off what's sure to be a furious run by Rors on Sunday, then the only question will be, "Who's the real No. 1?"

South African Champion?

There are four South African golfers in the Top 10 after Saturday's third round from Dubai. Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel headline the group but aren't the only African representatives well within reach of the lead heading into the fourth and final round of play this weekend. 

Branden Grace and George Coetzee are both just a few strokes back of leaders Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy. And though Grace is one stroke ahead of Coetzee, the latter is likely to produce a better effort on Sunday. After playing a relatively average round on Thursday, Coetzee has found his rhythm and has shot a five-under, 67 in two consecutive rounds.

With a combined age of 50, though, Grace and Coetzee may find the final round pressure a bit too much to handle on Sunday, as the heat cranks up after every hole.

DP World Tour Championship 2012 Top 10 Leaderboard Day 3

Pos. Player Par Thru
1 Luke Donald -17 F
2 Rory McIlroy -17 F
3 Charl Schwartzel -14 F
4 Louis Oosthuizen -14 F
5 Joost Luiten -12 F
6 Branden Grace -12 F
7 Romain Wattel -11 F
8 George Coetzee -11 F
9 Thongchai Jaidee -11 F
10 Jamie Donaldson -11 F

*Click here to see the full leaderboard.

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