If there ever was a course to get slumping Rory McIlroy back on track, Quail Hollow might be it. 

McIlroy shot a five-under-par 66 Friday at the Wells Fargo Championship to make the cut for the first time in two months and reach four-under for the tournament, two strokes behind leaders Matt Wallace, Gary Woodland and Patrick Rodgers. 

First-round leader Phil Mickelson dropped to a tie for 10th overall after carding a 75 at the Charlotte, North Carolina course. 

Only Roger Sloan (64) went lower than McIlroy in the second round, as the 32-year-old recorded six birdies and just one bogey after shooting 72 in the first round. 

The Northern Irishman recorded his first PGA Tour victory at Quail Hollow in 2010 and won there again in 2015. He lost out to Rickie Fowler in a three-man playoff in 2012. 

McIlroy is playing his first tournament since missing the cut at the Masters and The Players Championship, the latter coming a week after a 10th-place finish at the Arnold Palmer invitational in early March. 

"When you played the way I played sort of through that stretch in March and into April, you're going to feel like you're not as close as you probably are," McIlroy told reporters. 

"But I worked hard after Augusta. I took a week off and reset, which I needed.

"Then I put my head down and worked hard and at least felt better about everything coming in here."

Among the three leaders heading into the weekend, Wallace shot 67 Friday, Rodgers 68 and Woodland 69.

Kramer Hickok is one stroke back at five-under for the tournament, while Scott Piercy, Keith Mitchell, Carlos Ortiz and Scott Stallings are tied with McIlroy at four-under. 

Mickelson and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson are among those at three-under, while 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed sits four back of the leaders. 

Justin Thomas is six back entering the weekend, while 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and 2020 Open Championship winner Shane Lowry just made the two-over cut. 

Among those who missed the cut were past major champions Fowler, Jason Day, Francesco Molinari and Lucas Glover  in addition to defending champion Max Homa and Jon Rahm.

Rahm had made 22 consecutive cuts, the longest active streak on Tour.

Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel turned in a nine-under 63 in four-ball play to take the lead after the third round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. 

The South African duo are 19-under for the tournament and were one of six teams to record a 63, vaulting them past second-round leaders Tony Finau and Cameron Champ by a stroke. 

Australians Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith also shot nine-under and are tied for second with the American pair. 

The top of the leaderboard at TPC Louisiana is crowded, with Bubba Watson and Scottie Scheffler sitting two shots back along with first-round leaders Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura. 

The tournament, which switched to a team event in 2017, features four-ball in the first and third rounds and foursomes in the second and fourth. 

Three teams are at 16 under and nine more at 15 under, with the latter group including defending champions Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer. 

The shot of the day belonged to Sam Ryder, who holed a five iron from 206 yards at No. 2 for a double eagle -- the first at the tournament since Rob Oppenheim did it in 2018.

 

 

 

American duo Matt Kuchar and Harris English cruised to an unprecedented third QBE Shootout title after shattering records on Sunday.

Kuchar and English became the most successful pairing at the PGA Tour event thanks to a nine-stroke victory, having added to their 2013 and 2016 triumphs in Naples, Florida.

The dominant pair reached 37 under following three rounds over three different formats – a new record at the QBE Shootout.

Kuchar and English posted a 12-under 60 in the fourball format as they also broke the record for margin of victory, eclipsing the seven-shot win they celebrated in 2013.

"As a team, we crushed it this week," English said. "You've got to putt well in all formats and we did that. Matt made a lot of clutch putts, especially on the first day.

"It felt like pretty easy golf out here. It was a lot of fun to play."

Kuchar added: "We've got an incredible record. We're going to have a hard time catching that record."

Defending champions Rory Sabbatini and Kevin Tway finished as runners-up at Tiburon Golf Club alongside Mackenzie Hughes and Lanto Griffin, and Sean O'Hair and Kevin Na.

Billy Horschel and Brendon Todd, Tony Finau and Cameron Champ, and Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson were two strokes further back at 26 under.

Golf's tradition like no other has been pushed back by seven months, meaning Tiger Woods will have to wait to treat his fellow past Masters winners to the Champions Dinner for the fifth time.

History suggests that when Woods does settle on his menu choices, there is a strong chance a porterhouse steak will be the entree.

Woods has twice selected that cut of beef as the star of the show on his menu, doing so in successive years in 2002 and 2003.

The 15-time major winner has a long time to mull over his options for this year's feast and he may have to pull out all the stops to match some of the delights that have been served up since he last set the menu back in 2006.

Here we pick out some of the best and worst Champions Dinners from years gone by.

 

FINE FEASTS

1998: Tiger Woods - Cheeseburgers, Chicken sandwiches, french fries, milkshakes

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go, and that is what Woods did a year after his maiden Masters win in 1997. He went with four staples of American fast food. Nothing fancy, but more than enough to whet the appetite.

2001: Vijay Singh - Seafood tom kah, chicken panang curry, baked sea scallops with garlic sauce, rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce, baked fillet Chilean sea bass with three flavour chili sauce, lychee sorbet.

The Big Fijian dished out big flavours in his lone Champions Dinner. The sea bass with three flavour chili sauce might have left some of the diners sweating, but at least they had a refreshing lychee sorbet to cool them off.

2010: Angel Cabrera - An Argentine asado, a multi-course barbecue featuring chorizo, blood sausage, short ribs, beef filets and mollejas (the thymus gland/sweetbreads).

Cabrera marked the one-year anniversary of his second major win by going for a meat lover's dream from his homeland. The only surprise being that the man known as El Pato did not add duck to the menu.

2016: Jordan Spieth - Salad of local greens; main course of Texas barbecue (beef brisket, smoked half chicken, pork ribs); sides of BBQ baked beans, bacon and chive potato salad, sauteed green beans, grilled zucchini, roasted yellow squash; dessert of warm chocolate chip cookie, vanilla ice cream.

It was no shock that the Texan went with a barbecue. When cooked correctly, there are few things more delectable than a tender brisket. While that meal must have gone down well, the fourth-round collapse that followed a few days later was tough to swallow for Spieth.

2018: Sergio Garcia - International salad (ingredients representing the countries of past champions); arroz caldoso de bogavante (a traditional Spanish lobster rice); tres leches cake with tres leches ice cream. 

A universally popular victor in 2017, Garcia played to the crowd in 2018 by including ingredients from the countries of past champions in his starter. The use of his mother's recipe for the desert made this classic Spanish fare a winner.

DOG'S DINNERS

1989: Sandy Lyle - Haggis, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips

Haggis is very much an acquired taste, and Lyle didn't exactly give the diners much to enjoy away from the Scottish savoury pudding with two bland side dishes.

1994: Bernhard Langer - Turkey and dressing; black forest torte

Without knowing the dressing, it's tough to give a full verdict on Langer's choice but opting for famously dry meat outside of Thanksgiving or Christmas Day is an odd decision.

1997: Nick Faldo - Fish and chips, tomato soup

Fish and chips is a universally popular British classic, but Faldo's decision to put it alongside tomato soup makes for a strange pairing.

2015: Bubba Watson - Traditional Caesar salad; grilled chicken breast with sides of green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese, served with cornbread; confetti cake and vanilla ice cream.

Two years on from his first Champions Dinner in 2013, Watson produced exactly the same menu. Surely a golfer with Watson's reputation for the unorthodox knows that variety is the spice of life? 

2017: Danny Willett - Mini cottage pies; a traditional Sunday roast (prime rib, roasted potatoes and vegetables, Yorkshire pudding); apple crumble and vanilla custard; coffee and tea with English cheese and biscuits, plus a selection of wines.

The Sunday roast is another British favourite. However, the combination of that entree with cottage pies and an apple crumble is an overly heavy one.

Rory McIlroy opened up a two-stroke lead at the WGC-Mexico Championship to continue his good form on Thursday.

The world number one, who has started 2020 with two top-five finishes, carded a six-under 65 in the opening round at Club de Golf Chapultepec.

Starting on the back nine, McIlroy made an eagle at the par-five 11th before holing five birdies, with his only blemish coming with a bogey at the fourth.

McIlroy, runner-up last year, is two shots clear of Americans Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas.

"It was good. All aspects of my game were working pretty well. I drove the ball well, and I took advantage of that," McIlroy said.

"I think the big thing was I putted well. I didn't putt so well at Riviera [at the Genesis Invitational] last week. I went back to my old putter, I was trying a new one last week.

"It didn't quite work out the way I wanted it to, but I was comfortable on the greens today and holed some nice ones coming in."

Watson is a three-time runner-up at the tournament and made five birdies and a bogey during his round, while Thomas finished second in 2018.

Louis Oosthuizen, Billy Horschel, Corey Conners and Bryson DeChambeau, who carded three-under 68s in their first rounds, are tied for fourth.

Three-time winner Dustin Johnson endured an awful start by opening with a five-over 76.

The defending champion made a double bogey and four bogeys to go with his birdie as he was left in a tie for 62nd.

Five pairs were tied for the lead after the second round of the QBE Shootout as Bubba Watson and Charles Howell's 66 saw them move into contention.

Harold Varner and Ryan Palmer equalled the tournament's lowest round on Friday with a 17-under 55 to take a two-shot lead through 18 holes, yet they had company at the top after Saturday's round.

Having made gains at 16 of the 18 holes in the first round, Varner and Palmer had three bogeys on Saturday at the event in Naples, Florida.

Watson and Howell had a blemish-free round and back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18 saw them reach 19 under par through 36 holes, the same score as Varner and Palmer and three other pairs.

Brendon Todd and Billy Horschel, Jason Kokrak and JT Poston and Kevin Tway and Rory Sabbatini were the other duos that had a share of the lead.

Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell managed to record the joint-lowest round of the day, though, following up their 61 with a 65 on Saturday.

Four birdies in five holes between the fourth and eighth helped them reach 18 under par for the tournament, one shot back ahead of Sunday's third and final round.

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