Rory McIlroy hit 9 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens as he returned a five-under par round of 67 at a canter on moving day at the Farmers Insurance Open.
The four-time Major winner moved to nine-under par in California, electrifying the crowd at Torrey Pines with some sumptuous ball-striking. McIlroy finished his round in 3rd at 9 under with Spain’s Jon Rahm setting the pace in the clubhouse at 12-under and America’s Ryan Palmer in second at minus-11.
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With the course playing soft, McIlroy felt free to let loose and he set his stall out early at the 201-yard par-3 third where he launched his tee shot 193 yards to the green, setting himself up for the 20-foot putt for birdie which he duly dispatched.
After a 285 yard drive on the 490-yard par-4 fourth, McIlroy chipped his third shot to 6 feet but he’d miss the putt to lose a shot to the field.
After a 311 yard drive on the 564-yard par-5 sixth, he chipped his third shot to 5 feet and rolled in the birdie putt to get back under par for the round.
Then, at the 615-yard par-5 ninth hole, McIlroy reached the green in 3 and sunk a 23-inch putt for birdie before picking up another gain on 12 despite finding the fairway bunker.
On the par-4 15th, McIlroy’s dialled in 155 yard approach was left stone dead, setting up another birdie before two towering shots to the 570-yard par-5 18th saw McIlroy cap his round with another birdie in 4, moving to five-under on the day and minus-nine for the championship knowing that a win on Sunday would see him leapfrog Brooks Koepka to the world number one ranking.
Full scoring HERE