Saturday 18 November 2017

McIlroy on top in Shanghai

Mark Garrod

Rory McIlroy went into this morning's final round of the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters with a three-stroke lead over American Anthony Kim after firing a third-round 65 yesterday.

Northern Ireland's US Open champion, who shocked the golf world by changing management stables just over a week ago, stood at 18-under-par and bang on course for the record £1.25m winner's cheque.

McIlroy, trying to complete a wire-to-wire victory just as he did for his first Major title in June, did not drop a stroke all day and turned in 32 with birdies at the first, third, seventh and ninth -- the hole he double-bogeyed in his second-round 69. The 22-year-old world No 3 then picked up more shots at the 13th, 15th and 16th.

Kim, who failed to retain his Ryder Cup place last year after undergoing thumb surgery, matched McIlroy's round, but made his final-day task all the tougher by finishing with a bogey.

Twenty-year-old Korean Noh Seung-yul was in third place, but a 67 left him four back and there was a further three-stroke gap to England's Ian Poulter, also round in 67.

World No 2 Lee Westwood produced only a 70 and rests alongside Australian Geoff Ogilvy in sixth place, 11 adrift. Pádraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie and Paul Casey all disappointed with 73s. Harrington dropped to eighth, Montgomerie to 12th and Casey to 17th in the 30-strong line-up.

Meanwhile, world No 1 Luke Donald has officially withdrawn from this coming week's HSBC Champions world championship in Shanghai with his wife expecting their second child. Already the PGA Tour leading money-winner this season, the event could have seen Donald clinch the European Tour money list title.

Now the likes of McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer and Westwood have a chance to keep the race alive through to the Dubai World Championship in December.

Nobody has ever topped both tables in the same season and Donald, more than £1m clear, said: "Making history in the sport is very important, but the roles of husband and father are the most important in the world to me. Being there for my wife and family is where I have to be."

Sunday Indo Sport

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