Rory McIlroy enjoys third round 66 in South Carolina

Tyrrell Hatton moves into a share of the lead as he shoots impressive 63 on Saturday

 Rory McIlroy during the third round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina. Photograph: Getty Images

Rory McIlroy during the third round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Tyrrell Hatton crafted a blemish-free round of 63 to join a group of four at the top of the leaderboard ahead of the final round at the RBC Heritage.

The Englishman had four birdies inside the first five holes and reached the turn at five under.

He then picked up another three shots before finishing his round off with a 24-foot birdie putt.

The eight-under round follows a seven under on Friday and saw him move 21 places up the leaderboard where he sits tied with Abraham Ancer, Ryan Palmer and Webb Simpson.

Simpson, the overnight leader, could not follow up his opening scores of 65 and carded a 68 on Saturday, mixing four birdies and a bogey.

The leaderboard at Hilton Head in South Carolina remains tight with 17 players within three shots of the lead ahead of Sunday’s final round.

World number one Rory McIlroy put the RBS Heritage’s coronavirus issue to one side to shoot a third-round 66 and significantly improve his position at Hilton Head

The Irishman was one of the players to have contact with Nick Watney on Friday shortly before the American tested positive for Covid-19 and withdrew from the event.

A second successful day left the 31-year feeling upbeat.

“I’ve been a little bit more decisive and committed off the tee in the last two days. Much better, I need to try keep doing that with the same game plan,” he told the media after his round.

McIlroy said he had not had a Covid test after Watney’s positive result but would continue to take the necessary precautions.

Tyrrell Hatton has a share of the lead at Hilton Head. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty
Tyrrell Hatton has a share of the lead at Hilton Head. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty

“No I didn’t, I didn’t feel like I was in close enough proximity. I saw him on the putting green, we kept our distance,” he added.

“I don’t think anyone was blind to the fact someone would catch the virus and it is a shame they did but it is one case and as long as it is contained to that we move forward.

“We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, I think we’ve done really well to start up again. I’ve enquired the last two weeks about working out somewhere but I haven’t felt comfortable doing it, I’m doing all my workouts at home.

“Harry (Diamond, his caddie) quarantined at my house for two weeks before we came on the road and we’ve been eating in the house as much as we can or eating at the clubhouse. The only time we go out is at the start of the week to get groceries.”

McIlroy carded six birdies, including four on his back nine, with his one dropped shot coming at the par-four 13th.

Collated third round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour RBC Heritage (USA unless stated, par 71):

(a) denotes amateurs

198 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 69 64 65, Ryan Palmer 65 67 66, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 71 64 63, Webb Simpson 65 65 68

199 Joel Dahmen 68 68 63, Daniel Berger 67 69 63, Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 69 67 63

200 Chris Stroud 68 69 63, Michael Thompson 65 69 66, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 69 68 63, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 70 65 65, Ian Poulter (Eng) 64 69 67, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 66 68 66, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 66 66 68, Corey Conners (Can) 68 63 69

201 Brooks Koepka 67 66 68, Dustin Johnson 68 66 67, Alex Noren (Swe) 69 66 66, Andrew Landry 68 67 66, Bryson DeChambeau 67 64 70, Brice Garnett 65 71 65

202 Tony Finau 66 68 68, JT Poston 67 69 66, Matt Wallace (Eng) 68 68 66, Sam Ryder 69 65 68, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 70 63 69, Tyler Duncan 71 63 68

203 Scott Stallings 70 68 65, Lucas Glover 69 68 66, Matt Kuchar 70 66 67, Doc Redman 72 66 65, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 72 65 66, Justin Rose (Eng) 70 67 66, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 65 69 69, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 66 68 69

204 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 71 67 66, Matt Jones (Aus) 69 69 66, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 65 71 68, Mark Hubbard 64 72 68, Chesson Hadley 68 68 68, Adam Hadwin (Can) 72 65 67, Wyndham Clark 68 66 70, Justin Thomas 72 66 66, Maverick McNealy 72 66 66, Jon Rahm (Spa) 71 67 66, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 67 69 68

205 Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 70 67 68, Jason Dufner 69 66 70, Sepp Straka (Aut) 67 71 67, Branden Grace (Rsa) 69 69 67, Harris English 67 70 68, Max Homa 67 69 69, Bill Haas 71 66 68, Collin Morikawa 68 69 68, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 65 69 71

206 Matthew NeSmith 66 67 73, Vaughn Taylor 67 69 70, Ernie Els (Rsa) 67 67 72, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 68 68 70, Brian Harman 70 67 69, Jim Herman 68 69 69, Chez Reavie 68 70 68

207 Bernhard Langer (Ger) 69 67 71, Peter Malnati 71 67 69, Harry Higgs 69 68 70

208 Brian Stuard 68 70 70, Gary Woodland 69 68 71, Ryan Armour 69 68 71, Stewart Cink 68 68 72

210 Wesley Bryan 69 68 73, Bubba Watson 69 68 73, Troy Merritt 70 68 72

211 Danny Lee (Nzl) 68 67 76, Jordan Spieth 66 70 75

213 Xander Schauffele 72 66 75

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