Rory McIlroy shot an up and down three-under par 67 on moving day to sit three shots off the pace heading into the final round at the BMW championship.
McIlroy started with four birdies in his first six holes to get to nine-under. The Northern Irishman followed his hot start with two bogeys around the turn including a miss from two and a half feet and he sits on 8-under-par, three off the lead and he said that the wind direction made it a tough day.
“Yeah, I think so, it’s a tricky wind, tricky direction and it makes the long holes play a little longer”, he said after the round.
“The ball isn’t really going anywhere when it hits the ground, so obviously with some of the scores that have been shot, you can see it’s still pretty playable”.
McIlroy was then asked if he had one eye on East Lake but commented that he is 100 percent focused on trying to win on Sunday.
“I want to go out and shoot the best score that I can, and if that gets me a win, then that’s great. If not tomorrow, I will go out, try to shoot the best score I can, try to win the golf tournament, even if I don’t win, I’m still going to be in a great spot going into East Lake.
“But yeah, the higher up you are on that board going into East Lake, the better chance you have. Tomorrow my focus is trying to go out here and win this golf tournament”, he said.
Scottie Scheffler and Matthew Fittzpatrick are tied for the lead going into the final round on 11-under-par.
Scheffler shot a 6-under-par 64, carding seven birdies and just one bogey and was clearly delighted with his play.
“I played what felt like a great round of golf today. I shot six-under. Sam was the only guy lower than me today, I think. I played really well. The winds were shifting around a bunch out there and you’re going to get caught with some weird gusts; that’s just part of the game.
“But I did a good job when I got into trouble, got out, and my short game was really nice today”, he said.
Matt Fitzpatrick shot a four-under-par 66 to join Scheffler in the lead despite a bogey on the last.
Fitzpatrick started the week in 40th place in the FedExCup standings but a win would not only see him qualify for the Tour Championship, but would also see him inside the top five heading into the season finale.
Fitzpatrick said after the round that an improved short game is the key to him contending more regularly going forward.
“I feel like if I can drive it how I know I can drive it and hit the irons how I feel like I’ve hit them this year along with short game and putting, then I do feel like I can contend more regularly, and I feel like looking in the past, I’ve had plenty of top 10s and stuff but never really been in the final group or only a couple back. It’s always four or five back, just enough to not really make a difference.
“That’s kind of where my next step feels like to be looking at Jon Rahm and Scottie and Rory, they’re always up there week in and week out”, he told the media.
Overnight leader Max Homa also missed a short putt, leading to a triple bogey and a one-over-par 71 to sit at nine-under par, one shot behind Brian Harman and two behind the leaders.
Seamus Power’s PGA Tour season is all but over after a four-over par 74 leaves him 12-over for the tournament and in second last place.
Power gets his final round underway at 8.27am local time, 2.27pm Irish time and will look to salvage some pride ahead of the Irish Open at the K Club in a few weeks.
Rory Mcilroy gets his final round underway at 12.26pm local time, 6.26pm irish time.