RIDGELAND, S.C. — Rory McIlroyHis score Saturday was better than it actually felt. He had two eagles to make it look even better. He was in position to win his third year-end victory at the CJ Cup in South Carolina.
This one comes with a bonus: The chance to return to No. This would be the number one spot in the world.
McIlroy can reclaim top spot in two scenarios: if and Scottie SchefflerFinishes worse than if they are tied for second with each other, or if McIlroy finishes first alone and Scheffler finishes lower than 34th.
McIlroys first appearance at the top of world rankings was more than ten years ago. But, this would not be McIlroys first time at the top, although it would be no less special. Its not a distraction, having been there eight times previously. Jon RahmAmong those that are one shot behind.
Ultimately, I just want this golf tournament to win. McIlroy stated after his 4-under-par 67 that if McIlroy wins the tournament, then everything will be taken care of by itself.
He said, So for me tomorrow, I need to go to the field, set myself a score I want to shoot, and try to do that. Focus on that, and I hope that it ends up with a trophy, and getting back to the top in the world rankings.
Rahm was five shots behind at one stage, but he rallied to save what otherwise felt like a fight against Congaree throughout the day. He finished with a 70, and was one shot ahead of Congaree. Kurt Kitayama(70) K.H. Lee (66).
The eagles were McIlroys best friend. He hit a drive on the par-5 fourth, which left him with a 6-iron that caught the slope perfectly and rolled to 2ft. He smashed his drive 376yards and putt a 30-footer from the green on the tightly mown turf.
Which was his favourite?
Its nice when it comes to that question, he said, before settling on No. 12 because it was so much fun to hit the ball that far.
The remainder of the round was even par with a mix good birdies and sloppy bunkeys.
You take those two holes away and I was even par the rest of my round. McIlroy said that he felt it was a bit scrappy going in but that he did enough to keep going and shoot a solid score.
McIlroy was at 13 under 200.
Rahm started round two tied for the lead. He was five behind McIlroy on No. 12.
The big Spaniard was as solid as Gibraltar when he arrived at Congaree. He made two great bunker shots, and then made a great escape for par on 16th. On the 16th, he took free relief into trees because of a small gap.
A lot of battle today. Rahm said, Im proud. Im standing at 12 tees… I was afraid things could get ugly. But I kept my cool and focused on my game. I made some birdies coming in to put myself in a position for tomorrow.
His only disappointment was missing out on McIlroys final round, which was a power group that is suitable for a quiet tournament in the lowcountry.
Lee finished second in a round that was low for a day that was made difficult by pins in dangerous positions and tees being moved back. He also made amends on Congarees 17th hole. This was the toughest hole at Congaree. Lee four-putted the last three putts at 5 feet for a double bogey on Friday. This time, he made one out of three birdies.
He said, Much better today than yesterday.
Kitayama, a 29 year-old Californian, is the most curious of all the contenders. He spent two years on Korn Ferry Tour with little success and then four years working across Asia and Europe. He won three times.
He lost to Rahm in Mexico Open, and came in one short. He was one point behind Xander SchauffeleIn the Scottish Open. Saturday was his first time holding a share of lead on the PGA Tour. He held his own.
He was tied for first until his 65-foot putt over the 17th green ran 7 feet by cup. He missed the comebacker for par.
Aaron WiseRahm was also challenged to put together a game that didn’t feel right. He had two consecutive bogeys on the back nine. However, he managed to get pars and finished the round with a 71. This put him in the group just three shots behind Rahm.
Tom KimHe finished with a 69, and was four shots behind the winner in his bid to win the third time. The 20-year-old has won three out of five of his previous starts.
This report was compiled by the Associated Press.