Rory McIlroy is just two shots behind the leaders of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after shooting a third round 69 to leave him nine under par for the tournament.

The County Down man, who is the defending champion, is behind quartet Miguel Angel Jimenez, Lee Westwood, Thongchai Jaidee and Alvaro Quiros who joint-lead the way on 11 under par.

McIlroy, who will also play on the PGA Tour this year, is in an excellent place to retain his only professional title ahead of Sunday's final round.

Speaking of the PGA Tour, heavy rain stopped second round play at the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles Friday and play is not expected to resume until around lunchtime Saturday.

Padraig Harrington had 16 holes completed when play was suspended and was two over par for the tournament. The projected cut is one over, so Harrington needs to make a move in the last two holes to make the cut.

Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson are joint leaders on 10 under par, Stricker is in the clubhouse after a 65 and Johnson had three holes left to play when play was called off.