McIl­roy fights through back is­sues to con­tend

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS -

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.

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