Wednesday 16 October 2019

WATCH: Rory McIlroy storms into the lead at the Canadian Open with Shane Lowry just one shot behind

Rory McIlroy. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are firmly in contention at the Canadian Open after sparkling third round scores propelled the Irish duo to the top of the leaderboard.

McIlroy moved into a three-way tie for the lead after carding a six-under 64 and he will head into the final round as leader alongside the American duo Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson on 13 under.

A birdie at the first set the tone for McIlroy, who made two more gains before the turn and a further three on the back nine in a flawless round that confirmed he is in fine form ahead of next week's US Open at Pebble Beach.

"I controlled my ball pretty well today," said McIlroy. "I drove it in the fairway for the most part, which you need to do around here. That's something I didn't do last week in the Memorial. Big improvement there.

"Then from there, just keep giving myself chances and picking off the birdies when I can. I did that well today. I stayed patient. Made a couple really good up and downs on the back nine when I needed to.

"The wind was up, conditions were a little bit trickier, but I stayed aggressive. I stuck to my gameplan, hitting driver off the first, and just trying to really take it to this golf course.

"I said on Friday that I still felt like there were scores out there. It is soft because of that rain at the start of the week and it was nice to take advantage of the good play and put myself in a position to try to win on Sunday."

Lowry fired his third successive round in the 60s as he fired a four under par round of 66 to put himself in a strong position heading into Sunday.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell kept his hopes of securing a place in The Open Championship at his home course of Portrush next month after firing an even par round of 70 as he finished five shots behind the leaders.

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