Possibly the best shot I've hit all year – McIlroy beams after eagle at 18th

By Sports Desk November 21, 2019

Rory McIlroy described his stunning approach to the 18th as "possibly the best shot I've hit all year" as he closed with an eagle to surge into contention on day one of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The four-time major winner, seeking a third title at Jumeirah Golf Estates, carded a 64 on Thursday to sit one stroke behind leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the season-ending European Tour event.

McIlroy pulled clear in second spot, two ahead of Race to Dubai contender Jon Rahm, with a three at the par-five last set up by a booming drive and pinpoint approach shot that landed within three feet of the pin.

"It's possibly the best shot I've hit all year," the world number two told Sky Sports. "It was one of those where if you get it right and you button it, it's going to be perfect.

"The two shots into the last were right up there with the two best shots I've hit this year, I would say.

"I'm feeling comfortable with my game. I have done for the last while. I felt like [this] was just more of the same of how I've been feeling.

"I hit some really quality shots coming in which gives me a lot of confidence going into the next few days."

McIlroy recently added an eye-catching finishing touch to his home, with the addition of a trophy cabinet that he would dearly love to contribute to this weekend.

His wife Erika had the cabinet put in place when McIlroy was busy securing further silverware at last month's WGC-HSBC Champions.

"It's sort of the last room that we've been waiting on to get finished in the house," the Northern Irishman explained. "I like to have [the trophies] out so, in a reflective moment, I can go and have a look at all I've achieved on the golf course the last few years.

"I had not seen them - they were in storage for a year and a half - so just to come back to it was really nice.

"It's a nice reflective moment, but it's also a motivational moment that this is what I can do and I want more of it."

Related items

  • Quartet lead Wyndham Championship, Koepka misses cut Quartet lead Wyndham Championship, Koepka misses cut

    Tom Hoge, Kim Si-woo, Talor Gooch and Billy Horschel are tied for the lead after the second round of the Wyndham Championship, while four-time major champion Brooks Koepka missed the cut.

    The quartet of Hoge, Kim, Gooch and Horschel are one stroke clear atop the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour tournament in North Carolina.

    Hoge was in a three-way tie for the lead at the start of the second round, joined by Harold Varner III and Roger Sloan, and the American maintained his position at the Sedgefield Country Club on Friday.

    Five birdies and two bogeys helped Hoge to a two-under-par 68 to be 10 under through 36 holes, alongside 2016 champion Kim (65), Gooch (65) and Horschel (64).

    Harris English (67), Shane Lowry (63), Andrew Landry (65), Doc Redman (64) and Varner (69) are a stroke off the pace heading into the weekend, while Sloan is a shot further back after his second-round 70.

    Patrick Reed – winner of the event in 2013 – and US PGA Championship runner-up Paul Casey are among a group tied at seven under.

    Former world number one and three-time major champion Jordan Spieth avoided the cut following his three-under-par 67.

    Struggling for form, Spieth improved 25 positions above the cut line – three under – after opening the tournament with a 70.

    However, American star Koepka failed to qualify for the weekend, along with defending champion J.T. Poston (66) and Justin Rose (67).

    After he was unable to complete a three-peat of US PGA titles last week, Koepka's second-round 70 saw him finish the tournament two over.

  • In-form Horsfield surges into Celtic Classic lead In-form Horsfield surges into Celtic Classic lead

    Sam Horsfield holds a one-shot lead at the halfway mark in the Celtic Classic as the Englishman eyes a second European Tour title this month.

    Horsfield claimed his first victory at the Hero Open a fortnight ago and was back at the top of the leaderboard again at The Celtic Manor Resort on Friday.

    A seven-under second round of 64 took Horsfield to 11 under, a stroke ahead of overnight leader Thomas Pieters.

    Horsfield finished with an eagle three to hit the front, responding brilliantly to the blow of triple-bogey six after finding the bunker at the 17th.

    There were nine birdies for Horsfield – including four in a row around the turn – and a bogey at the second to ensure the 24-year-old will start the weekend with a slender advantage.

    The world number 133 is relishing the challenge, telling the European Tour website: "I've been in contention before, and to get it done and get it over the line.

    "I've been there a few weeks ago and I know what the feelings are like. I'm really looking forward to it."

    Belgian Pieters, who recently became a father, signed for a three-under 68, a third bogey of his round at 18 costing him a share of the lead.

    English duo Callum Shinkwin and Andrew Johnston are a further shot back in third place along with Pieters' compatriot Thomas Detry.

    Detry is bogey-free through the first half of the tournament, while the charismatic Johnston was four over through five holes after a triple-bogey seven at the first, but finished with a flourish to card a superb five-under 66.

  • Woods eyes FedEx Cup hat-trick, Northern Trust entry confirmed Woods eyes FedEx Cup hat-trick, Northern Trust entry confirmed

    Tiger Woods has confirmed he will play at next week's Northern Trust as he seeks a third FedEx Cup trophy.

    The tournament in Boston is the first of three playoff events that will bring the coronavirus-affected 2019-20 PGA Tour season to a conclusion.

    Woods, winner of the FedEx Cup in 2007 and 2009, would be the first player to claim the honour three times.

    He confirmed his participation at TPC Boston on Twitter on Friday, writing: "Excited to head to Boston for @TheNTGolf and start the #FedExCup Playoffs."

    Woods, A 15-time major winner, finished in a tie for 37th at the recent US PGA Championship.

    The American has been increasingly selective with his schedule as he manages his workload to mitigate injury and fitness concerns.

    Indeed, the Northern Trust would be just the sixth event of the season for the 44-year-old, who will need to force his way into the top 70 of the FedEx Cup standings to progress to the next event, the BMW Championship, at the end of the month.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.