McIlroy fights through back issues to contend
JOHANNESBURG >> Rory McIlroy remained in contention in the SA Open despite a back problem that nearly forced him to withdraw before the round.
The second-ranked McIlroy shot a 4-under 68, leaving him three strokes behind leader Graeme Storm of England. McIlroy birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine, but bogeyed the final two.
“I’m actually surprised I’m standing here,” McIlroy said. “I actually thought about pulling out before even teeing off today. I tweaked my back somehow and the first few shots today weren’t very comfortable and it still isn’t really comfortable. I can’t really take a deep breath because I’ve done something to my upper back.”
Storm shot a course-record 63 at Glendower to reach 12-under 132. American Peter Uihlein (64) and South Africans Trevor Fisher Jr. (68), and Jbe Kruger (67) were two strokes back. Play was suspended at about 5 p.m. because of the threat of lightning, with 40 players unable to finish.