Thursday, December 14, 2017
Golf

McIlroy one back heading into final round in Europe

ANTALYA, Turkey — Rory McIlroy shot a third straight 5-under 67 Saturday to move to within one stroke of the leaders after the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open.

South Africa's Jaco van Zyl maintained a share of the lead after shooting 70 to sit tied with France's Victor Dubuisson (67) at 16-under 200 in the first of the European Tour's four-event Final Series.

McIlroy dropped his first shots of the tournament with bogeys on Nos. 3 and 10 but also had five birdies and an eagle on the 13th.

"I feel if I play the same way and execute a little bit better, there's definitely a lower score out there for me," he said. "I got off to a bit of a slow start. I don't know why. I just felt very lethargic out there and couldn't really get any energy.

"To finish the way I did was very pleasing because I needed to dig in deep and finish the round off well, which I did."

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (66) shared second place with McIlroy.

Van Zyl has led since carding 61 in the first round. He is pursuing his first European Tour title.

"I did what I needed to do on some holes and let a couple opportunities slip on the back nine," he said.

Dubuisson's only tour victory came at the Turkish Airlines Open in 2013.

"My long game has been really, really good since the beginning of the year, but my short game was just really, really bad," Dubuisson said. "I changed my putter a month and a half ago, and (Saturday) was a great performance. … This is a course I feel great on."

waldorf just misses 59: Duffy Waldorf missed a chance to shoot the second 59 in Champions Tour history, parring the final two holes for 11-under 60 in the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach, Calif. Waldorf missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th, coming up short and right.

"It was a trickier putt than I wanted," Waldorf said. "I didn't hit the putt hard enough. I had been reaching the hole all day, so I didn't think that would be a problem."

Kevin Sutherland is the only player to shoot 59 on the 50-and-over tour. He had 13-under 59 last year in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

Waldorf tied the course record set by Tom Purtzer in 2004 and matched by Nick Price in 2011, both en route to victories. Waldorf's 15-under 127 broke Price's 36-hole record by a stroke.

Waldorf, 53, had a three-stroke lead over defending champion Fred Couples (65) in the final full-field event of the year. First-round leaders Steve Pate (68) and Scott McCarron (68) were in a group of five four strokes back.

PGA: Second-round leader Justin Thomas shot 5-under 67 at the CIMB Classic to share the lead with American compatriot Brendan Steele (66) at 20-under 196 going into the final round at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They were a shot ahead of last year's runnerup, Kevin Na, who equaled the best round of the day with 64. Only four strokes separating the top nine players, including Adam Scott.

LPGA: Candie Kung bogeyed the final two holes in the windy Blue Bay LPGA to drop into a tie for the lead with second-round leader Sei Young Kim at Hainan Island, China. Kung had 1-over 73 and Kim 74 for par 216 on another difficult day at wind-battered, sun-baked Jian Lake Blue Bay along the South China Sea. Only two of the 78 players broke 70, and 11 rounds were in the 80s. Stacy Lewis (73) was one shot back. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (76) was 15 over.

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