Rory McIlroy is 18 holes away from his first PGA Tour victory in 18 months, a chance to show the world he is back on his game.
That’s not the way McIlroy views the final round at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
McIlroy started strong, avoided a big number with a brilliant bogey in the middle and took on the wind and water on the 16th hole for one final birdie Saturday that gave him a 1-under 69 in the toughest conditions and a 2-shot lead over Russell Henley at PGA National.
The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland has come to expect this kind of performance.
He finished 1 shot behind in Abu Dhabi. He played in the final group in Dubai, where nothing went well in the final round. And here he is again, making key shots and a big putt to keep his nose in front in the Honda Classic.
Tiger Woods is still in the game, but just barely.
Woods matched the low round of the day. He was among five players who shot 65, all before the leaders teed off and the wind kicked into gear, but it was enough to move the No. 1 player 49 spots up the leaderboard and into a tie for 17th. Even so, he was 7 shots behind.
Karrie Webb broke out of a slump with three key birdies on the back nine to hold onto a 1-stroke lead after the third round of the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.
Webb, the 2011 champion, has led every round this week. She shot a 70 to move to 11-under 205 overall.
The veteran Australian will play against another former champion in the lead group today — 2012 winner Angela Stanford. The American matched Webb birdie-for-birdie over the final five holes to shoot a 69.
Spain’s Azahara Munoz fired an eagle and four birdies for a 5-under 67, the low round of the day, to surge into a third-place tie with Taiwan’s Teresa Lu at 8-under 208.
England’s Ross Fisher increased his lead to 5 strokes in the Tshwane Open, shooting a 5-under 67 to reach 18 under at The Els Club at Cooperleaf.
Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey was second after a 69.