Wentworth fans cheer golf royalty as Rory McIlroy enters BMW PGA mix
Helped by a lucky break as a drive that was heading dangerously close to out of bounds on 17th slammed into trees and eventually crashed onto the fairway, the 2014 winner equaled his best score at the Surrey venue with a seven-under par 65.
Moving him to 11 under in an event reduced to 54 holes after Friday’s play was canceled following Her Majesty’s death at Balmoral on Thursday, McIlroy is only one behind co-leaders Dane Soren Kjeldsen and the Norwegian Viktor Hovland heading to the final. circuit.
“I’m excited for tomorrow,” admitted McIlroy, who conceded there was a touch of irony in having a chance of winning a three-round event after making a pun for LIV Golf, the home circuit. Saudi-backed breakaway from Greg Norman, to use this format.
“I haven’t played one of those events, so it’s going to be interesting to see what it does,” he added. “There are so many guys at the top of the leaderboard. So it will be a sprint to the finish, that’s for sure.
On a day when 2021 Scottish Open champion Min Woo Lee hit two eagles shooting a day-best 62, world number 608 Kjeldsen matched the feat in his equally impressive 64.
The 47-year-old is trying to emulate 2007 champion Anders Hansen by winning the showpiece DP World Tour event, while Hovland, who signed for a 68, is trying to become the first Norwegian to triumph over the iconic West Course.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry, who has the highest score of any player on the pitch, is in the mix again, sitting just two behind 2018 winner Francesco Molinari, but in-form McIlroy is definitely the man to beat .
He won the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship in Atlanta on his last outing, securing the FedEx Cup in the process, and now has his sights set on joining Henrik Stenson as the only player to make the double by also topping the Order of Merit of the DP World Tour. in the same season.
“I gave myself a few days off from East Lake, but my attention quickly turned to not just this event but the rest of the season,” said McIlroy, who is already leading the way in this race. in the title in front of Will Zalatoris, the champion of the US Open Matthew. Fitzptrick and Hovland. “I want to end the year on a high. So a good day tomorrow would put me on the right track to achieve that.
Along with his fellow players, McIlroy wore a black ribbon as a sign of respect for the Queen. “She’s been such a stable figure,” he said, paying a personal tribute. “I saw a stat yesterday, she ascended the throne two years (it was actually only one) before Ben Hogan won his first Open Championship. So that shows you how long she’s been there and the things she saw.”
American Talor Gooch, one of LIV Golf’s rebels on the course and criticized earlier in the week by defending champion Billy Horschel for his presence here, is just three strokes behind the leaders after a 64 , as is another LIV man, Spaniard Adrian Otaegui.
Grant Forrest finished birdie-birdie to sit as the first Scotsman on eight under and was joined to make the cut by David Law (seven under), Scott Jamieson and Richie Ramsay (both under six), Connor Syme ( five cents) and Bob MacIntyre (four cents).