Rory McIlroy fires TWO EAGLES to lead CJ Cup, on course to become World No.1

Rory McIlroy thrilled the fans at Congaree Golf Club with two incredible eagles to lead by one shot from Jon Rahm, K.H. Lee and Kurt Kitayama on Saturday.

Rory McIlroy fires TWO EAGLES to lead CJ Cup, on course to become World No.1
Rory McIlroy fires TWO EAGLES to lead CJ Cup, on course to become World No…

Rory McIlroy is on course to become World No.1 for the ninth time as he leads the CJ Cup by one shot after a third-round 67 at Congaree Golf Club.

The four-time major champion, who also won the CJ Cup in 2021, made three birdies and two crucial eagles to reach the top of the leaderboard, one shot ahead of Jon Rahm, K. H. Lee and Kurt Kitayama.

Heading into the week in South Carolina, McIlroy joked that he wanted to reach the World No.1 spot to begin his campaign to reach 332 weeks in that position, one more week than LIV Golf boss Greg Norman's career total.

With what would be his 23rd win on the PGA Tour, he needs current World No.1 Scottie Scheffler to finish worse than a two-way tie for second. He is tied for 47th place with 18 holes remaining.

McIlroy started the third round in South Carolina two shots behind Rahm and Kitayama and he started with a birdie on the 2nd hole, but made a bogey on the 3rd hole.

On the par-5 4th, McIlroy produced a contender for shot of the season as he hit his approach from 227 yards to just two feet. This led to his first eagle of the day.

He added a birdie on the 7th hole to play his front nine in 33 shots. The Northern Irishman thrilled the crowds once more on the 12th hole by making a 32-foot putt from off the green for another eagle. This came after a monstrous 375-yard drive to the middle of the fairway.

Rahm, who recently won the acciona Open de Espana on the DP World Tour, stalled in the middle of his round with three bogeys in between holes 8 to 11.

He bounced back with birdies at the 12th and 15th holes to reach 11-under. Meanwhile, McIlroy bogeyed the 17th hole to drop back into a share of the lead with Kitayama on 13-under. This came after he hit a peculiar chip on the 15th hole which hit two sprinklers.

Kitayama went steady throughout the day with 12 pars in his first 16 holes but bogeyed 17 to fall one behind.

McIlroy carded his second consecutive round of 5-under to take the 17th 54-hole lead/co-lead of his Tour career. His Ryder Cup teammate and fellow US Open champion Rahm managed one more birdie on 17 to set up a mouthwatering final round.

Lee, a two-time winner of the AT&T Byron Nelson, equalled the low round of the day with a 66 to put himself in the mix for his third Tour title.

CJ Cup - third round leaderboard

-13 R McIlroy

-12 K Kitayama, J Rahm, K. H. Lee

-10 T Moore, A Wise

-9 T Kim, B Todd

-8 T Fleetwood, M McNealy, T Hoge, L Hodges, C Davis




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