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WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational: Rory McIlroy leads after 62 in Memphis


Rory McIlroy

McIlroy birdied the final three holes to lead by one shot
WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational, second-round leaderboard
-12R McIlroy (NI);-11B Koepka (US);-10M Fitzpatrick (Eng);-9M Leishman (AUS), A Noren (Swe), J Rahm (Spa);-8B Horschel (US), I Poulter (Eng), T Olesen (Den)
Selected others:-7T Fleetwood (Eng, J Thomas (US), B Watson (US), W Simpson (US);-6M Wallace (Eng);-5J Rose (Eng);-4T Hatton (Eng), J Spieth (US). P Reed

Rory McIlroy bounced back from his nightmare at the Open to lead the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis with an eight-under third round of 62.

The Northern Irishman, who missed the cut in front of home support at Royal Portrush last week, birdied nine holes including four of the last five.

He leads by one shot from US PGA winner Brooks Koepka (64), who finished fourth in the Open.

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, the leader at halfway, is a shot further back.

His compatriot Ian Poulter is four off the lead, with Tommy Fleetwood, runner-up at the Open to runner-up at the Open to Shane Lowry, on seven under.

McIlroy, who sealed his third successive birdie on the 18th with a 27-foot putt, said: “I’ve holed a lot of putts this week, which is nice.”

It means the 30-year-old will enjoy a a first-ever Sunday pairing with fellow four-time major winner Koepka in the last group for the final round.

“Rory is playing with some heat,” Koepka said. “I’m just going to have to take it deep.”

Overnight leader Fitzpatrick had six birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey in a rollercoaster round of 69 as the five-time European Tour winner chases his first US PGA triumph.

A victory would see the 24-year-old Englishman book a place in the season-ending play-offs.

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