Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

McIlroy battling for bumper reward

Rory McIlroy is chasing a massive pay-day in Atlanta

Rory McIlroy's hopes of a £6million jackpot were in the balance today after American Brandt Snedeker followed him into a lake during the final round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

McIlroy, winner of three of his last four events, had fallen from joint fourth to 12th when he covered the first seven holes at East Lake in a desperately disappointing four over par just like Tiger Woods.

It put Snedeker in the driving seat, but he also found the water at the short sixth and double-bogeyed as well to be just a stroke ahead of compatriot Ryan Moore and England's Justin Rose. If Snedeker wins the tournament he also takes the massive FedEx Cup bonus, but the pressure was mounting on him as he neared the turn.

Rose was joint leader overnight, but in much more blustery conditions he drove into the trees at the fifth and bogeyed the sixth as well after finding sand.

Luke Donald was still not out of things as far as the event was concerned, his level par for the first 11 holes lifting him from 11th to joint sixth four behind Snedeker, who then took another stride towards the lucrative double by holing from nearly 40 feet at the eighth to go two ahead.

Snedeker's advantage was back to only one ahead with seven to play after first Moore and then Rose birdied the short 11th, while McIlroy, out in 39, lifted himself back into eighth spot by holing from five feet at the 12th.

It looked to be between him and Snedeker for the £6million, Woods standing 11th with five to go.

Snedeker, one of golf's great putters, sank an 18-footer at the 13th, but Moore was right on his heels again when he birdied the 14th from 12 feet.

Rose was two behind and McIlroy joint 11th after another dropped shot on the 13th.

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