"I could be there and miss a cut and think, Well, what was all the fuss about?"
Rory McIlroy was already in the midst of a great 2019 after nine top-10 finishes, including his landmark win at THE PLAYERS Championship in March. McIlroy has clearly been following the NBA Finals and knows the Raptors are one win away from capturing their first ever title, so it was pretty cool to see him plan ahead.
McIlroy wanted to return the favour, but had to fly to California to play in this week's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Through 17 holes the 2010 U.S. Open victor was at two under, needing par to remain at 10 under for the tournament and inside the top 10. "I realize these days don't happen very often", said Snedeker, who carded a 59 at the Wyndham Championship in August.
McIlroy also counts the Hong Kong Open (2011) toward his national-championship tally.
McIlroy, who sank nine birdies and eagled No. 17, was on pace for a record-setting round.
Having played with a type of freeness all day the tournament was in his complete control by the turn, and it meant McIlroy was only thinking about shooting a 59.
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The Northern Ireland native missed the cut at last week's Memorial Tournament, but shot a combined 15-under in his final two rounds to win by seven shots this weekend.
Graeme McDowell on his way to securing the top-10 finish he needed at the Canadian Open to earn himself a spot at the Open Championship on home turf. "It was nearly as if I was playing an eight-round tournament, and that's how I feel here". It's like, I would rather play well on this weekend and let Portrush take care of itself. "I think it proves a lot to not only us as players, but the golfing fans across the country that there is a bunch of us out here and we're here to stay". But if I've learned anything this week it's my game is good enough and swing is good enough that I can play with freedom. "I really don't care".
"I think when you get to the US Open setup it can make you play carefully, a little tentatively and try to guide it down the fairways".
The four-time major championship victor tied his career best when he shot a 61 in the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship in 2015.
Behind McIlroy, his playing partner Webb Simpson birdied his final two holes to sign for a two-under 68 and a share of second place with Shane Lowry on -15, who has now had three top 10s in a row. His seven-shot cushion marked his fourth career win by seven or more strokes.
McIlroy who was an emphatic 7 shot victor of the tournament has climbed from fourth to third in the world.