The Northern Irishman trails China’s Li Haotong, whose 64 lifted him to 20 under par.
Alexander Levy, who enjoyed a hole-in-one at the fourth, and Haydn Porteous finished the day at 17 under.
Andy Sullivan is a shot further back and David Horsey is on 15 under.
McIlroy began another day of low scoring by completing his fog-delayed second round with three successive birdies.
That gave him a two-shot lead at the halfway point but he was unable to maintain that form at the start of his third round.
McIlroy said: “I’ll probably need to play a bit better tomorrow to win.
“It’s two weeks into the season and I’ve given myself a second chance to win a tournament.
“I feel like if I play my game I’ll be able to shoot something a bit lower tomorrow, and I really think I’ll need to.”
Source : EXPRESS