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McIlroy and Woods show their grit to remain in the hunt for Boston triumph

 

By Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods fought back to keep the leaders in their sights in the Dell Technologies Championship at a windy TPC Boston.

McIlroy was one-under par with six holes to play in the second FedEx Cup play-off event but, while he bogeyed the 13th and 15th, he got up-and-down from greenside sand at the 18th, making a seven-footer for a closing birdie to post a level-par 71.

It was a struggle at times for the Co Down man, who hit just six fairways and racked up 32 putts on slick greens.

But he was still just four shots behind early leaders Chris Kirk, Beau Hossler and home favourite Keegan Bradley, with Woods coming back from three-over after seven holes to post a one-over 72.

"When I did miss it, I missed it in bad spots," Woods said. "I didn't have very good angles. But overall, no-one is going low out there, particularly with this wind blowing like it is right now.

"Hopefully I can miss in the correct spots and make a few more birdies tomorrow."

Kirk, Hossler and Bradley led by a shot from Adam Hadwin, Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman, Webb Simpson and World No.1 Dustin Johnson, as Jordan Spieth shot 69 and Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas struggled to 73s.

Rahm raced to three-under when he holed a 20-yard bunker shot for an eagle two at the fourth, but followed that with three bogeys and a closing double-bogey seven.

On the Challenge Tour, Clandeboye's Jonathan Caldwell shot a five-under 65 in the second round of the Cordon Golf Open to move up to tied third, just a shot behind leaders Ben Evans and Adri Arnaus on seven-under.

Gavin Moynihan (66) and Dermot McElroy (72) are tied for 15th, just four behind, with Michael Hoey (70) tied 25th on three-under and Cormac Sharvin (71) scraping in for the weekend on one-over.

• OLIVIA Mehaffey led from the front as Ireland staged a gutsy third-day fightback to keep their faint medal hopes alive in the World Amateur Team Championships at Carton House.

The hosts looked down and out after a disappointing day two left them 13 shots off the medal places.

But a frustrated Mehaffey (20) blew off steam with an early morning gym session and came out fighting, blasting five birdies in a two-under 70 on the tough Montgomerie Course that included three in her last four holes.

With Annabel Wilson battling her way to a 72 and Paula Grant's gutsy 73 discarded, Ireland's two-under third round aggregate catapulted them from 10th to fourth on four-under-par. They are 15 shots behind the United States, who lead by five on 19-under par from defending champions South Korea.

Mehaffey said: "We've seen a 64, we've seen a 65. There's no reason to believe we can't do that."

She was proud after the way she fought back in high winds yesterday to give Ireland a chance.

"I had a lot of fight," said Mehaffey, who lies fifth in the individual standings on four-under, 10 shots behind Korea's Ayean Cho.

• ENGLAND'S Mark Young won the PREM Group Irish Masters at Tulfarris Golf Resort after a dramatic three-way play-off in Wicklow.

The English trio of Young, Tomasz Anderson and Ashley Mansell all finished on nine-under-par, with Anderson double-bogeying the last when victory looked assured. Young eventually triumphed in extra holes, his par at the 18th handing him victory.

Overnight leader, Whitehead's John Ross Galbraith, carded a disappointing two-over round to finish one outside the play-off.

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