The Northern Irishman must finish now lower than second if he wants to maintain his challenge for Europe's money list crown

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Rory McIlroy slips to fifth place in Hong Kong Open after third round 70

Northern Irishman must finish second or higher to maintain challenge for money list crown

Spain's Alvaro Quiros leads event heading into Sunday's final round

CNN  — 

Rory McIlroy’s chances of finishing top of the European Tour money list faded on Saturday as he slipped to fifth place at the Hong Kong Open after carding a level-par round of 70.

The Northern Irishman needs to finish no lower that second at the Hong Kong Golf Club if he is to have any chance of preventing world No.1 Luke Donald from becoming the first player to finish top of both the European and PGA Tour money lists.

“I just didn’t have anything out there. Mentally I just wasn’t at the races, and struggled to get anything going,” Mcilroy said, reported. “

“It was one of those days where nothing much was happening, and it was nice to birdie a couple coming in to keep me in it. I’m only three behind, so if I can get off to a decent start tomorrow, I’m right back in it,” the U.S. Open champion added, reported.

Alvaro Quiros finished Saturday’s round as outright leader on ten-under par after a faultless round of 67.

The Spaniard is one stroke ahead of Sweden’s Peter Hanson who finished with a round of 65.

Korean Y.E. Yang equaled the Swede’s third round effort moving up ten places up to tie for third with Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul who finished with a 67.

Fifth-placed McIlroy is three shots off the lead on seven-under par.

Five players are tied for sixth place on five-under par including France’s Gregory Havret, England’s David Horsey and Soren Kjeldsen from Denmark.

Meanwhile at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, Lee Westwood shot a course-record 10-under par 62 to head the field after the third round at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

The Englishman finished the day on 16-under par, seven shots clear of Sweden’s Robert Karlsson and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell who shot rounds of 69 and 70 respectively.

American Jason Dufner is tied for fourth with Germany’s Martin Kaymer.

Luke Donald currently lies eighth in a field of only 12 players invited to play in the unsanctioned $5 million event.