Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Golf

Horschel soars as McIlroy stumbles

Billy Horschel will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the BMW Championship after firing a flawless 63 on Saturday in Denver.

The American came into the day two shots behind leader Sergio Garcia and alongside world number one Rory McIlroy but the European duo endured disappointing third rounds.

Both men shot two-over par 72s with McIlroy incredibly four-putting from four feet on the 12th to record a triple-bogey six as he slipped nine shots behind the leader.

Horschel made things look much easier as he recorded seven birdies to move to 13 under, three shots ahead of fellow American Ryan Palmer who recorded a 67.

That left Palmer on course for the high finish he needs to move into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup rankings and play in next week's Tour Championship.

The top 30 in the FedEx Cup rankings after this weekend will go to Atlanta next week where the points will be reset so every player has a chance of claiming the 10million US dollar (£6.1million) bonus.

"It's going to be a fun day tomorrow," Horschel told Sky Sports 4. "Obviously having a chance to win a golf tournament on the PGA Tour, e specially during the FedEx Cup play-offs, can go a long way.

"We'll see what happens. If I can just keep doing what I'm doing and maybe I'll be holding a trophy on Sunday."

To do that, the 27-year-old will have to hold off a host of big names as he seeks his second PGA Tour win.

Masters champion Martin Kaymer and US Open champion Bubba Watson are both on eight under with Rickie Fowler a further shot back followed by Garcia.

Horschel birdied the first and the eighth in what was an unspectacular front nine but came to life after the turn picking up further shots on 10, 14, 15, 17 and 18.

McIlroy was still very much in the mix as he began his back nine just a shot adrift of Horschel but the triple on 12 saw him tumble down the leaderboard as he came home in 39.

Palmer recorded six birdies and three bogeys in an up and down 67 while Kaymer registered eight birdies and two dropped shots.

Watson was flawless in carding a 66 and Fowler dropped a single shot on his way to the same score.

United States Ryder Cup duo Jordan Spieth and Jim Furyk were on five under alongside Canadian Graham DeLaet with McIlroy in the group a further shot back.

Also in that group was Morgan Hoffmann who recorded the round of the week so far with a 62.

Starting on the 10th, Hoffman birdied his first three holes and picked up further strokes on 16, 17 and 18. Birdies on one and three raised hopes of a 59 but a bogey on the sixth ended those hopes, although another shot was picked up on seven.

Keegan Bradley will be watching Sunday's action closely after withdrawing from the tournament due to a possible rules violation on the opening day.

Depending on how others in the field play, Bradley could drop out of the top 30 and miss next week's tournament in Georgia.

One man who definitely will not be there is Phil Mickelson who also withdrew from the BMW Championship to focus his attentions on the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph