Rory McIlroy produced another sensational performance on moving day to lurk just three strokes behind leaders Jeev Milkha Singh and Christian Cevaer in the European Open at the London Club.

Just a weeks after a Saturday 65 gave him a chance in the PGA at Wentworth and despite battling a niggling pain in his back, the Ulsterman shot a brilliant 68 to share third place on six under par with Alvaro Quiros and Chris Wood.

As Peter Lawrie's title challenge disintegrated with a disappointing 79, McIlroy took advantage of the downwind holes on the front nine to charge up the leaderboard and then maintained his position by playing the tough final six holes in one over par.

As high winds sent scores soaring once more, McIlroy birdied the second and eagled the par-five fifth after reducing the 541-yard hole to a 400 yard drive and a sand wedge to 15 feet.

He joked: "Pretty routine eagle."

Further birdies at the 10th and 13th got him to seven under par before he dropped his only shot of the day at the 14th.

While Cevaer was steady, shooting a solid 70, Singh dropped to five-under after back-to-back bogeys at 10 and 11 before surging back with four birdies and three pars over the last seven holes. 

Lawrie didn't make a birdie in his 79 and fell back to tied 36th with Graeme McDowell (74) on one-over par but one stroke better than world No 4 Sergio Garcia (74), who finished with a triple bogey seven at the last.

Paul McGinley had five birdies and seven bogeys in a 74 to lie tied 55th on three over.