MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rory McIlroy shot an 8-under 62 on Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational to take a one-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka at the World Golf Championships event.
McIlroy, who missed the cut by a stroke last week in the British Open on his home turf in Northern Ireland, rebounded nicely.
He had a nine-birdie, one-bogey round to move from a tie for 17th to the top of the leaderboard at TPC Southwind.
The man who shattered the screen of a woman’s cellphone with his opening tee shot at Royal Portrush finished the round Saturday with three straight birdies.
McIlroy capped his birdie spurt by rolling in a 27-footer on the par-4 18th after putting his tee shot into a fairway bunker. He had a 12-under 198 total.
Two groups behind McIlroy, Koepka (64) had his chances. The world’s top-ranked player finished with three straight pars. Now Koepka and McIlroy, who played the first two rounds together, will play together Sunday in a final round for the first time in their careers.
Second-round leader Matthew Fitzpatrick (69) was third, two strokes back.
PGA Tour Champions: Englishman Paul Broadhurst birdied two of the last three holes Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Senior British Open, which will be Tom Watson’s final appearance at the tournament.
Broadhurst had four birdies and a bogey in his third-round 3-under 67 in wet conditions at Royal Lytham & St. Annes for a 5-under 205 total.
“It was one of my better rounds in these conditions,” the 2016 champion said. “I’m not a great lover of the rain.” American Woody Austin (68) is second, one shot off the lead.
Three-time champion Watson shot 2-over 72 and is tied for 55th at 6 over.
After the round, the 69-year-old American announced he wouldn’t be playing at the event again. In his 18 appearances, he has never missed the cut.
“I’ve thought quite long and hard about the decision I’ve made,” Watson said. “It has to do with really a pretty sensible assessment of how I play the game now. ... I just don’t have enough tools in the toolbox to really compete successfully.”
Watson is one of only three golfers to have won both the Senior British Open and the British Open, where he triumphed five times. Watson also said he won’t play the U.S. Senior Open again though he was not planning to retire completely.
LPGA Tour: Cresting a wave of South Koreans atop the Evian Championship leaderboard Saturday, Hyo Joo Kim fired a third-round 65 to move one shot clear on 15-under 198.
Kim’s latest impressive round of majors golf did not quite match her very first — a record 61 here as a teenager five years ago when she took the title in her elite debut.
Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park closed the gap in second by making a birdie on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 66 on the hillside course overlooking Lake Geneva.
Four shots back in a tie for third place were seven-time major winner Inbee Park (69) and Jin Young Ko (66), the world No. 2.
“I really think this golf course suits Korean players because all the golf courses in Korea are built in the mountain,” Inbee Park said.
“We are really used to the undulations and the lies that we get.”
Four players are at 8 under included former top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn, whose 64 tied the lowest round of the week.
Also in that group were the best-placed Americans, Megan Khang (67) and tour rookie Jennifer Kupcho.