Rickie Fowler fired a 9-under 63 on Saturday, leading Rory McIlroy by two strokes in the Las Vegas CJ Cup, aiming to put a season of struggle behind him.
Fowler fired nine birdies without bogies at the summit club, which hosts regular tournaments in South Korea for the coronavirus pandemic, scoring the best round in three years.
Fowler won the latest of his five US PGA Tour titles at the 2019 Phoenix Open.
Last season, he failed to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his 11-year career, entering the week of being ranked 128th in the world.
He cut his job for him on Sunday and has a lot of low scores at the summit. McIlroy capped a bogey-free 10-under 62 with a 21-foot eagle on the 18th.
He was looking forward to the challenge.
“I haven’t been there for the last few years, so it’s great to be back in that position,” Fowler said. “It’s been a long time. It’s been a long way and it was a difficult time. It’s not over yet.”
Alone at the top. 🔝
— PGA Tour (@PGATOUR) October 16, 2021
McIlroy of Northern Ireland was 9 off the pace at the start of the round, but continued to compete for the leaderboard with 5 birdies from the 3rd hole to the 7th hole.
He added birdies on the 9th, 12th and 14th before his final prosperity.
“I think you can do good golf, hit good shots, and stretch without puncturing your putt on a course like this,” McIlroy said.
“Yesterday I stretched 8 holes with an even par. I made 8 pars in a row. I’m glad I finished with a birdie last night. And today I played a series of golf and played 9 holes with 6 unders. You played, and suddenly you felt a little better about yourself.
“The important thing is that I’ve been playing short for the last two days and haven’t made any bogies. It’s huge.”
McIlroy hit one shot in front of Abraham Ancer (63) in Mexico, Adam Scott (67) in Australia and Robert (65) in the United States.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton and USA’s Keith Mitchell drew another stroke at 199, while Australia’s Cameron Smith and England’s Ian Poulter drew at 200, making them eight players within five shots of Fowler’s lead.
Overnight leader Mitchell, who started the day with a five-shot lead, had two early birdies, but got stuck when the wrong tee shots of 8th and 9th led to a series of double bogies. I released it.
He carded a par 1 over 73 and pulled back his stroke with a 28-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
Not everyone has access to the scoring opportunities offered.
Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth played in the final group with Mitchell, but didn’t make a birdie until the 15th hole. As a result, he left eight drifts, even on his way to the even par 72.
💪 McIlroy takes them
👏 Fowler finishes at the top
👀 Stacked Sunday leaderboards
All highlights from Saturday at The Takeaway’s CJ CUP. pic.twitter.com/JG9d2WuHrv
— PGA Tour (@PGATOUR) October 17, 2021
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– GOLF Sports
Rickie Fowler takes control in Las Vegas and puts an end to drought
https://www.compleatgolfer.com/pga-tour/fowler-takes-lead-las-vegas-eyes-end-drought/ Rickie Fowler takes control in Las Vegas and puts an end to drought