McIl­roy shoots 62, leads by 1

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Numbers Game -

MEM­PHIS, Tenn. — No­body likes miss­ing the cut by a stroke, and do­ing it in a ma­jor cham­pi­onship at home hurts even more.

Rory McIl­roy is show­ing he can bounce back quickly.

McIl­roy shot an 8-un­der 62 on Sat­ur­day in the FedEx St. Jude In­vi­ta­tional to take a on­e­stroke lead over Brooks Koepka at the World Golf Cham­pi­onships event.

McIl­roy, who missed the cut by a stroke last week in the Bri­tish Open on his home turf in North­ern Ire­land, had a nine-birdie, one-bo­gey round to move from a tie for 17th to the top of the leader­board at TPC South­wind. The man who shat­tered the screen of a woman’s cell­phone with his open­ing tee shot at Royal Portrush fin­ished the round Sat­ur­day with three straight birdies.

“I guess the pres­sure’s off a lit­tle bit,” McIl­roy said.

“You’ve had a bad week and you go to the next week and you say, ‘OK I didn’t do this well, I didn’t do this well.’ So you’re sort of try­ing to fo­cus on that rather than win­ning the tour­na­ment. So for me, this week I wanted to fo­cus on neu­tral­iz­ing my ball flight and try­ing to dial in my dis­tances. All of a sud­den those two lit­tle fo­cus points have made me play some good golf again.”

McIl­roy capped his birdie spurt by rolling in a 27-footer on the par-4 18th for the lead to him­self af­ter putting his tee shot into a fair­way bunker. He had a 12-un­der 198 to­tal.

Two groups be­hind McIl­roy, Koepka (64) had his chances. The world’s top-ranked player fin­ished with three straight pars. Now Koepka and McIl­roy, who played the first two rounds to­gether, will play to­gether Sun­day for the first time in a fi­nal round.

Sec­ond-round leader Matthew Fitz­patrick (69) was third, two strokes back. Marc Leish­man (63), Alex Noren (66) and Jon Rahm (68) were three shots be­hind.

“It is ex­cit­ing,” McIl­roy said. “He’s the No. 1 player in the world, four ma­jors in the last three years. He’s the man right now. I got to play with him the last cou­ple days and I en­joyed it. I en­joyed see­ing what he can do.”

Koepka says Sun­day should be fun duk­ing it out with McIl­roy with so much on the line.

Hyo Joo Kim fires 3rdround 65 to lead Evian ma­jor by 1 shot

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Crest­ing a wave of South Kore­ans atop the Evian Cham­pi­onship leader­board Sat­ur­day, Hyo Joo Kim fired a third-round 65 to move one shot clear on 15-un­der 198. Kim’s lat­est im­pres­sive round of ma­jors golf did not quite match her very first — a record 61 here as a teenager five years ago when she took the ti­tle in her elite de­but.

Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park closed the gap in sec­ond by mak­ing a birdie on the par-5 18th for a 5-un­der 66 on the hill­side course over­look­ing Lake Geneva.

Four shots back in a tie for third place were seven-time ma­jor win­ner In­bee Park (69) and Jin Young Ko (66), the world No. 2 who won the sea­son’s first ma­jor, the ANA In­spi­ra­tion, in April.

“I re­ally think this golf course suits Korean play­ers be­cause all the golf cour­ses in Korea are built in the moun­tain,” In­bee Park said. “We are re­ally used to the un­du­la­tions and the lies that we get.”

Play started early in cooler con­di­tions and fin­ished at 2:15 p.m. lo­cal time (1215 GMT) just as a fore­cast stormy down­pour dumped rain on Evian Re­sort Golf Club. Sun­day’s fore­cast calls for per­sis­tent rain and a tem­per­a­ture drop of about 16 Cel­sius (30 de­grees F).

As­so­ci­ated Press

UP BY ONE Rory McIl­roy cel­e­brates on the 18th green to give him the lead dur­ing the third round of the World Golf Cham­pi­onship­sFedEx St. Jude In­vi­ta­tional on Sat­ur­day in Mem­phis, Tenn.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.