Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Rory McIlroy one shot off first-round lead

PGA Tour: Brian Harman takes 1-shot lead in Travelers Rory McIlroy three shots off the lead at Travelers Championship
Cassandra Castillo | 25 June, 2018, 12:27

The Texan (24) had a triple bogey eight after driving out of bounds and finding water at the 13th, his fourth hole, and needed a tap-in eagle at his 16th to salvage a three-over 73.

Believing he just needs to be patient, he said: "I think with what I'm working on I'm not 100% comfortable and I'm still thinking a lot about what I'm doing. I'm not playing this to get my game ready for the Open", he said. "It was obviously fortunate to hit the pin and go in".

Johnson enjoyed a spectacular run of six successive birdies on the back nine to take the clubhouse lead, before Spieth joined him in top spot.

A four-under par third round of 66 saw Lee improve to nine-under for the tournament and jump six places up the leaderboard into a four-way tie for 11th with one round to play.

"Six in a row is a treat", said Johnson, who finished tied for 12th last week in the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

McIlroy had just a wedge in hand for his approach to the last, but his back foot appeared to slip a little on his downswing which caused him to tug it left of the target, and his pitch left him a 10-foot putt to save par which slipped just past the cup.

"You're anxious about in the back of your head is Michael going to go chest bump or side bump?"

Jones was quickly out of the blocks today when 4 under par through just five holes of his round and although the momentum slowed thereafter he did add another birdie at his 16th hole to get to 5 under.

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Reigning British Open champion Spieth, the 2015 Masters and US Open victor, birdied the third and fifth ahead of his sensational sand shot at six.

US Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood squeaked over the cut line on four-over after a second successive 74, but The Island's Paul McBride missed the cut by three strokes after a 75.

McIlroy hit 17 greens in regulation on Thursday.

Brooks Koepka followed his second straight US Open victory with a 68.

"If I just keep giving myself chances and hit a few more fairways over the weekend than I did today, hopefully, I'll be able to move". "But I'll be honest, I'm dead right now".

Harman, a runner-up at last year's US Open, seeks his third US PGA crown after the 2014 John Deere Classic and last year's Wells Fargo Championship.

No player is coming in as hot as last week's victor, Brooks Koepka. Spieth was delighted to have finally made a good start but is keeping things in perspective. His caddie tried to hand him a putter after the shot and Thomas shook him off.

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