Rory two behind leader Thomas
in Mexico with a round to go
EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS
Rory McIlroy will have to overcome arguably the two hottest players on the planet to claim the WGC – Mexico Championship as Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson overtook the Northern Irishman after the third round.
McIlroy endured a “boring and frustrating” day at the Club de Golf Chapultepec on Saturday as he posted a one under par 70 to move to ten under for the tournament and two strokes behind Thomas and one behind the World Number One Johnson.
Thomas, who had a hole in one during his third round 65, has won three times in the past four months, including back to back victories in Hawaii when he carded a 59. Johnson, who matched that 65 to move into second place in Mexico, officially became the best in the world two weeks ago after his victory in Los Angeles.
McIlroy was joined by Phil Mickelson (68) in a tie for third spot on what is a truly world class, international leaderboard featuring England’s Lee Westwood (65) and Spain’s Jon Rahm (66) in a tie for fifth with the English duo of Tyrrell Hatton and current Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood joining Belgian Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters a further stroke back.
Rory McIlroy: “That was a kind of weird day. It was boring and frustrating in many ways. I felt like I couldn't get into any sort of rhythm and it was just sort of, it was all a bit slow, and I was trying to get something going but just couldn't quite do it. I felt like there was a good chance around the turn to get something going.
"I made birdie on 11. I drove it way down there on 12 and then hit the pin with my second shot and came back. One of those days, just couldn't really put like a few good holes together I guess.
“Hopefully that’s the bad round if the week out of the way but I felt terrible out there today compared to the first couple days, especially yesterday when I felt like everything was clicking. Didn't feel so good today. But it's nice to still be in the last group for the final round - I can keep an eye on what the guys ahead of me are doing and try and catch them up.”
Justin Thomas: “It's cool playing in the final group with D J and Rory, that's pretty cool. That's something I haven't experienced before, playing with those guys. I've obviously played with Hideki and Rosie. I've played with a lot of great players, but it will be a new experience.
"I've just got to go out and we've got to stick to our game plan. I was really proud of my round today because I started hitting it pretty bad again there in the middle and just kind of found it again or just was trying to manage it and brought it home strong.”
Dustin Johnson: “I hit the ball great on Thursday, I just didn't make any putts. Yesterday and today I've played really solidly. Obviously everyone's struggling a little bit on the greens but I feel like I'm hitting the ball really well. I'm rolling it well, too.
"I made a few putts to start the round early. think I made more feet of putts on the first three holes than I did in all three rounds combined.”
Jon Rahm: “It was a little bit of up and down. I started a little, just a little weird. I was hitting good shots, feeling good, but the ball wasn't doing what I wanted and I'm three over for three holes. Then I kind of pulled it back.
"Hit a great drive on four, made a birdie and that kind of got the round going. I feel like it's really hard to make birdies on the front nine. Luckily I was able to hit a couple of them close on the back nine and made some birdies.”
EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS
THIRD ROUND LEADERBOARD
Par 213 (3x71)
201 Justin Thomas (USA) 69 66 66
202 Dustin Johnson (USA) 70 66 66
203 Phil Mickelson (USA) 67 68 68, Rory McIlroy (NIre) 68 65 70
204 Lee Westwood (Eng) 67 71 66, Jon Rahm (Spn) 67 67 70
205 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 70 67 68, Thomas Pieters (Belg) 68 69 68, Tomy Fleetwood (Eng) 69 70 66.
207 Sergio Garcia (Spn) 68 71 68, Ross Fisher (Eng) 67 68 72 (T14).
208 Andy Sullivan (Eng) 71 65 72 (T16)
210 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 67 72 (T25)
212 Paul Casey (Eng) 74 71 67, Chris Woods (Eng) 68 73 71.
213 Justin Rose (Eng) 70 72 71 (T38)
215 Russell Knox (Sco) 73 74 68 (T50)
220 Danny Willett (Eng) 76 72 72 (T66)
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Labels: PRO GOLF