McIlroy motors into Memphis lead

Updated: 23/06/2024


Rory McIlroy (11/10 to win tournament) continues to bounce back from last week’s Open Championship disappointment as he will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman, who missed the cut at Royal Portrush, carded nine birdies and just one dropped shot on his way to a round of 62 that has moved him onto 12-under-par for the tournament – one shot clear of nearest rival Brooks Koepka (9/4).

McIlroy set the tone for his round by birdieing two of his opening three holes before a 25-foot putt at the seventh started a run of three gains in a row.

A bogey at the par-four 12th threatened to derail the 30-year-old’s good work, but he picked up four shots over his final five holes to move into the lead in Memphis and he is certainly pleased with where his game is at.

“I had a lot of good numbers where I could go ahead and make a full committed swing, and I just dialled my distances in with the wedges,” McIlroy said. “One of my goals was to hit it pin high and I hit it pin high most of the day.

“These greens are so pure if you get it on line and get it rolling properly, and I’ve holed a lot of putts this week.”

World number one Koepka will join McIlroy in what will be a heavyweight final pairing on Sunday.

The four-time major winner was at his consistent best as he signed for a score of 64 that has moved him onto 11-under for the tournament.

Overnight leader Matthew Fitzpatrick (9/1) is also still in contention after he recovered from dropping four shots in as many holes with birdies at 17 and 18 to move onto 10-under-par, while a further three players, Marc Leishman (22/1), Alex Noren (22/1) and Jon Rahm (10/1), are a shot further back.

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