Rors missed out on handshake with The King but is hopeful of Golden Bear embrace

Rory McIlroy has a chance to win his 24th PGA Tour title. 

Ben Smith's picture
Sat, 3 Jun 2023
Rors missed out on handshake with The King but is hopeful of Golden Bear embrace

When Rory McIlroy won the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, unfortunately The King had already passed so he did not get to shake his hand. 

He's hoping that he will have the chance to shake the hand of another golf icon this weekend: Jack Nicklaus

McIlroy finds himself in a share for the lead at Jack's place, firing a third round of 2-under 70 to reach 6-under for the championship at the Memorial

His front nine was faultless, picking up a solitary birdie at the par-5 fifth, before a more adventurous back nine that included three birdies and two bogeys. 

Related: Jason Day daggers Jack Nicklaus design

By day's end, McIlroy shared the lead with Si Woo Kim and David Lipsky. 

"Yeah, first of all, it would mean a ton to me to win this tournament," McIlroy said after his third round, before adding:

"I've played pretty well here over the years without really having a realistic chance to win. So to be able to walk up that hill from 18 and get that handshake from Jack would be pretty nice. I won Arnold's tournament a few years ago, but he had already passed by the time. So it would be so nice to be able to do it and have Jack be there and stuff. It would be really cool."

McIlroy is searching for his second victory of 2023 and 24th PGA Tour title. 

Elsewhere, Denny McCarthy, Viktor Hovland, Wyndham Clark, Lee Hodges and Mark Hubbard are grouped in T-4 at 5-under. 

Keegan Bradley, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Rodgers, Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama round off the top-10 at 4-under. 

Jordan Spieth is a further stroke back at 3-under and is firmly in contention at Muirfield Village. 

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