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Scottish Open: Rory McIlroy in the lead

On Saturday at the Genesis Scottish Open, Rory McIlroy hit a well-deserved birdie putt for a 3-under 67 in increasingly windy conditions to maintain a one-shot lead over Tom Kim.

McIlroy still hasn’t performed as well as hoped, but as most players often say, there are raw numbers to back him up. A day after missing nine putts from nearly 10 feet, he missed an eagle attempt from just over 3 feet and a birdie putt from 5 feet while trying to cushion at the Renaissance Club.

“I’m still in a very good position,” McIlroy said. “Like I said, I feel like I’ve left some things behind. But I mean it’s hard to be disappointed when you’re in the lead heading into the final day. I’ll definitely take it. .”

McIlroy went 13-under 197 for his first professional win in Scotland. He has never finished in the top 10 in seven professional attempts and has finished runner-up three times at Dunhill Links. He has four top five finishes at the British Open in Scotland.

Kim did whatever it took to get to 67, and that’s what kept him in the game. He didn’t hit the ball as well as he did the day before and was often out of position, but he said he was most pleased with his perseverance and the round without a bogey.

That was jeopardized on the par-4 18th hole when Kim strayed off the fairway to the right, fell into a bad lie on the left, landed a putt from about 10 feet and exited with a fist pump for par. .

“I felt like that putt was the best I could do because I fought so hard to give it my all in that round,” Kim said. “To finish with a par…clearly there was a lot of momentum and everything. It put me in a good position to have a chance tomorrow.”

And there may come a time when everyone grabs their hats tighter.

Due to the forecast of heavy rain in the afternoon, the start time was moved up to early Saturday morning. Sunday’s forecast called for winds of around 30 mph, but that was before the gusts of wind. Sunday’s start is 6:45 am, even earlier than the third round.

Others may then join, and the list of candidates is long.

Tommy Fleetwood came out in the first group, posting a 63 to go 11-under 199, two shots behind Brian Harman (67) for the lead. Fleetwood didn’t get off to the best start and is currently playing the final three-9 with a 32-32-31 record.

Canadian Open winner Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, British Columbia) leads the Canadians at 7-under, six shots behind McIlroy.

Corey Connors of Listowel, Ontario. He is tied for 69th at 2-under after three rounds.

World No. 1 Scotty Schaeffler was eight shots behind in the closing stages of the front nine and could barely make it to the right. However, he birdied three of his final four holes, and birdied from about 25 feet on the 18th for a 67.

Schaeffler finished 200th with Shane Lowry (65), JT Poston (65), Eric Cole (64) and Ahn Byung-hoon (69). Anne and Cole are the frontrunners to secure the three spots that have not yet been waived.

“If it were the other way around, I would feel a little bad about my positioning,” Schaeffler said. “But if you can get a good finish and steal at least two shots on the last two holes, like I did today, you’ll definitely feel good.”

Padraig Harrington, who started the weekend three shots behind, had only 70 RBIs and lost six paces. Harrington has said he will withdraw from the PGA Tour Champions in favor of the Ryder Cup depending on how he plays at the Scottish Open and the Open at Royal Liverpool next week.

Sam Burns had the worst luck, six shots behind. Barnes was in a pot bunker on the left of the fairway on the par 5 10th when his shot landed on the cautious side and stayed there. Even though the balls were not embedded, they stuck together as if they were jammed. He had to play from there, but the ball went back into the side and back into the bunker.

The next out also missed the green, failed to go up and down, and hit a triple bogey 8.

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