Rory McIlroy shares Canada Open lead after flawless 64

Shane Lowry also in contention as he sits a shot off the leaders heading into final round

Rory McIlroy shares the lead heading into the final round of the Canada Open. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty

Rory McIlroy shares the lead heading into the final round of the Canada Open. Photograph: Michael Reaves/Getty

 

Rory McIlroy fired six birdies in a bogey-free third round of 64 to jump into a three-way tie for first place at the Canadian Open on Saturday.

McIlroy shared the lead at 13-under with Americans Matt Kuchar (69) and Webb Simpson (67) on a sunny and breezy day at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

McIlroy, making his first appearance at the event in Ontario, is trying to bounce back after failing to make the cut at the Memorial tournament in Ohio last week, his first missed cut of the season.

The 30-year-old used his weekend off working on his game and said the extra practice has paid off.

“I feel like I turned that missed cut into a positive,” he said. “There were a couple things in my game that were highlighted and I had a chance to work on them ... that’s why I am where I am on the leaderboard.”

McIlroy had the shot of the day on the par-four 15th when his approach shot from 130 yards away narrowly missed the cup, setting up a 10-inch birdie putt.

Veteran Kuchar, who was also a co-leader after his second round, said he will need to step up his game if he is to win his first Canadian Open trophy.

“The goal is to just keep making improvements,” said Kuchar, who mixed three birdies with two bogeys on Saturday.

“Tomorrow I need a firmer understanding of the greens so I can roll in more birdies.”

American Brandt Snedeker, who produced a sparkling 10-under-par 60 in Friday’s second round, shot 69 on Saturday that put him in a three-way tie in fourth on 12-under with Canada’s Adam Hadwin and Ireland’s Shane Lowry.

Lowry carded a third round of 66, which included five birdies and a bogey. Graeme McDowell is three strokes behind Lowry on eight under par after he signed for a level par round of 70.

Snedeker’s best moment came on 15 when he sank a 52-yard putt for his third birdie of the day, although he followed it up with his second bogey on the next hole.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson finished his third round with four birdies and two bogeys and is tied for 17th at six-under.

Collated third round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour RBC Canadian Open (USA unless stated, par 70):

197 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 67 66 64, Matt Kuchar 65 63 69, Webb Simpson 66 64 67

198 Shane Lowry (Irl) 64 68 66, Adam Hadwin (Can) 65 66 67, Brandt Snedeker 69 60 69

200 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 66 66 68

201 Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 66 66 69

202 Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 65 67 70, Jonathan Byrd 67 71 64, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 64 70 68, Nick Taylor (Can) 64 65 73

203 Peter Malnati 66 68 69, Scott Brown 65 63 75, Jim Furyk 69 67 67, Danny Willett (Eng) 66 68 69

204 Benjamin Silverman (Can) 71 61 72, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (Mex) 67 66 71, Harris English 66 69 69, Jonas Blixt (Swe) 67 67 70, Dustin Johnson 71 65 68, Danny Lee (Nzl) 65 72 67, Justin Thomas 70 65 69, Roberto Castro 64 71 69

205 Wes Roach 68 68 69, Paul Barjon (Fra) 68 70 67, Brian Harman 69 65 71, Robert Streb 67 69 69, Peter Uihlein 67 71 67, Ben Crane 69 65 71, Scott Langley 67 68 70, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 67 70 68, Hank Lebioda 67 67 71, Collin Morikawa 70 66 69, Sam Straka (Aut) 68 65 72, Sungjae Im (Kor) 64 68 73, Cameron Tringale 68 68 69

206 Keegan Bradley 63 71 72, Stephan Jaeger (Ger) 71 64 71, Roger Sloan (Can) 68 70 68, J.J. Spaun 67 70 69, Chris Thompson 69 66 71

207 Daniel Berger 67 71 69, Adam Schenk 66 68 73, Talor Gooch 66 70 71, Colt Knost 67 71 69, Rod Pampling (Aus) 69 69 69, Sang-moon Bae (Kor) 69 68 70, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 65 72 70

208 Jim Knous 68 69 71, Brooks Koepka 70 66 72, Joey Garber 68 70 70, Zach Johnson 71 67 70, Jimmy Walker 65 72 71, Josh Teater 68 68 72

209 George McNeill 69 68 72, Harold Varner III 68 70 71, Ryan Palmer 68 69 72, Cody Gribble 69 68 72

210 Martin Laird (Sco) 69 69 72, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 67 68 75, D.J. Trahan 67 68 75

211 Alex Noren (Swe) 67 71 73, Brian Gay 72 66 73, Richard Jung (Can) 67 69 75, Bubba Watson 71 67 73, Kevin Tway 67 70 74, Tyler Duncan 69 68 74

213 Jake Knapp 69 69 75

214 Kelly Kraft 68 70 76

215 Dominic Bozzelli 69 69 77

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