Defending champion Henrik Stenson and Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello opened up a three-shot lead after the third round of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship on Saturday.
Stenson posted four birdies in a 4-under 68 to join Cabrera-Bello who birdied four of his closing five holes in a 7-under 65. Both players have an overall 14-under 202 on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
McIlroy had back-to-back double bogeys at the 12th and 13th while Olesen was left counting the cost of an 18th-hole double bogey.
If he wins, Stenson will finish the 2014 European Tour season as runner-up to McIlroy in the Race to Dubai.
“To win would be very pleasing as I've had a solid year, but I haven't got a trophy yet,” Stenson said. “There is still a lot of golf to play and Rafa, he's had a 64 and a 65, so he seems to be on fire.”
The 30-year-old Cabrera-Bello, who had an opening round 73, is no stranger to winning in Dubai after capturing the Dubai Desert Classic title in 2012.
“The round was a little bit crazy, because I haven't felt I've played perfect at all,” Cabrera-Bello said. “I had to work really, really hard, especially at the beginning but I managed to hang in there and end up shooting 3 under on the front nine when I could have easily shot 2 or 3 over.”
Lee Janzen scrambled to a par 72, dropping into a share of the lead with Andrew Putnam, who shot a 2-under during a rainy third round of the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational.
Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open winner, played bogey-free for the first two rounds but had three bogies and three birdies at Del Monte on Saturday and is 11-under for the tournament.
Putnam, a PGA Tour rookie, birdied three of the final four holes and had six birdies overall, but also had two bogeys and a double bogey, also on Del Monte.
Tommy Armour, a late entrant who won the event in 2007 and 2008, is alone in third at 9 under following a 66 at Del Monte.
Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam shot 72 at Pebble Beach and missed the cut at 8-over par in the event featuring professionals from the four major pro tours as well as mini tour players and cub pros.
Julieta Granada has a one-shot lead going into the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship. Just as close is a four-player race for $1 million.
Granada had four birdies in her round of 2-under 70. Morgan Pressel and Carlota Ciganda of Spain each made big putts on the 18th hole to stay one shot behind. Pressel made a 5-foot birdie putt for a 70. Ciganda made an 8-foot putt for par and a 71.
The Race to CME Globe is razor thin among Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko, So Yeon Ryu and Michelle Wie. All are among the top five in the standings. Ko (68) and Ryu (70) were three shots out of the lead. Wie had a 72 and was four shots back. Lewis was six behind.