|-21 R Fowler (United States); -19 R McIlroy (NI); -18 A Scott (Aus), R Streb (United States), A Ancer (Mex); -17 K Mitchell (United States), T Hatton (English)|
|Others selected:-16 I Poulter (Eng); -14 C Morikawa (United States); -13 P Casey (English); -12 S Garcia (Spa), T Fleetwood (Eng)|
Rory McIlroy shot a stunning 62 of 10 under par to move within two shots of frontman Rickie Fowler after three rounds of the CJ Cup in Las Vegas.
After starting the third round at nine off the pace, McIlroy’s card featured five consecutive third birdies and a closing eagle.
“I can’t remember the last time I played a round without a bogey and now I have played two in a row,” he said.
American player Fowler’s 63 placed him in the lead with 21 under.
Fellow American Robert Streb (65), Australian Adam Scott (67) and Mexican Abraham Ancer (63) are tied for third at under-18, three strokes behind, second-round leader Keith Mitchell coming back to 17 under after a disappointing 73 on Saturday.
After struggling for most of 2021, which included losing his first three Ryder Cup matches as Europe posted a record 19-9 loss, McIlroy’s performance over the past two days will give him the belief that his fortunes might be about to improve.
“I played an eight hole stretch yesterday at an even par – I made eight pars in a row. Then today I played nine holes under 6 and all of a sudden you got feel a little better about yourself, ”said the former world number. one, who is now 14th in the standings.
In a ranking flush with British players, Tyrrell Hatton was four strokes ahead of a tie for sixth after a 67, with compatriot England Ian Poulter on another shot after also shooting five under.
England’s Paul Casey was eight off the pace to 13 under after a 70, one shot past Tommy Fleetwood, who had four birdies of every nine in a 64 without a bogey.