Sunday, July 28, 2019

Four late birdies for a 62 give Rory McIlroy a one-shot lead at St Jude Invitational

Day Three Report
Rory McIlroy birdied four of his last five holes in a stunning round of 62 to open up a one-shot lead heading into Sunday's final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
The Northern Irishman entered the day at TPC Southwind five shots off the lead but carded his lowest ever round in a World Golf Championships event and his lowest of the season on the European Tour to get to 12 under par and lead the way from World Number One Brooks Koepka.
The two four-time Major champions will now go out in the final group on Sunday in what promises to be a scintillating final day as the tournament makes its first appearance in Tennessee.
McIlroy won this event in 2014 when it was played at Firestone Country Club and will be looking for a third World Golf Championships win, while Koepka will be seeking his first, as will overnight leader Matt Fitzpatrick of England.
 The Englishman carded a round of 69 to sit in third place at ten under par, a shot clear of Swede Alex Noren, Spaniard Jon Rahm and Australia's Marc Leishman.
American Billy Horschel, Dane Thorbjørn Olesen, and Ian Poulter of England are then at eight under par, while his countryman Tommy Fleetwood is in a tie for tenth place alongside American trio Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson at seven under par.
Player quotes
Rory McIlroy:
I had a goal in my head, I wanted to get to double digits under par by the end of the day, and obviously I did a little bit better than that.  Made a nice run at the end there and obviously in a good position heading into tomorrow.
"It is exciting. Brooks is the number one player in the world, four majors in the last three years.  He's the man right now. I got to play with him the first couple days and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing what he can do.
“I think you learn way more from your failures than you do from your successes. Any time I have an undesirable week, I really look at it and I try to examine what went wrong here and what can I do to put it right the next week.  
“The great thing about golf, it provides you opportunities all the time. You miss a cut, you can get straight back on the horse the next week and try again.  Not a lot of sports have that luxury.  I think we're very fortunate that we can try to respond to our setbacks pretty quickly.”
Brooks Koepka:
“I feel like I putted really good the last couple weeks and nothing's fallen in and today they finally fell. I played really solid, felt like I didn't make too many mistakes. Got a little loose with the driver there and just kind of under it a little bit, that's why they're leaking to the right. But overall, I have no complaints today.
“It will be fun. Rory's playing some good golf, especially with the start he got off to. Played with him the first two days. The way he struck it was really impressive. He's putting well and you know he's going to be tough to beat.”
Matt Fitzpatrick:
“I's a great position to be in. I probably would have taken this before I teed off, a couple behind, knowing that I need to shoot a low one tomorrow and still in with a shout of winning it. Obviously the two guys ahead of me are great players and the players around me are great players as well. But just to have that little bit extra cushion to be chasing by only two is much easier than four or five.
“I felt one under was probably fair for how I actually played the whole day barring a couple bad swings. It was a good day. I'm still in with a shout.”
Jon Rahm:
“It's a great start and a great finish. Everything else in the middle, shaky. That's all I can say. Started really confident, playing really, really well. And I think it was that second shot on six and the three-putt on eight kind of stopped the round a little bit. I struggled yesterday, struggled again today. It's just that part of the golf course.
“I think I could do a little bit better tomorrow hopefully, but still, I'm feeling good. Every part of the game's feeling good. And like I said, hopefully tomorrow I can just keep it all smooth throughout, not make many mistakes and give myself a chance.”


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