Rory McIlroy ended a wait of almost two years to win a title after claiming his third Wells Fargo Championship.

Not since the WGC-HSBC Champions in November 2019 had former world number one McIlroy reigned supreme on the PGA or European Tour.

However, he snapped his drought at Quail Hollow, where the four-time major champion came from behind to triumph by one stroke thanks to his three-under-par 68 on Sunday.

McIlroy, who was two shots off the pace heading into the final day, held off Abraham Ancer at 10 under to add to his 2010 and 2015 triumphs in the tournament.

A flawless front nine set the tone as McIlroy tallied two birdies before gaining further strokes at the 14th and 15th holes in Charlotte.

McIlroy then narrowly avoided a meltdown when he hooked his tee shot on the par-four 18th hole, where he took a drop and managed to get on the green before two-putting to seal his win.

The Northern Irish star captured his 19th PGA Tour victory in his 196th start, with the Wells Fargo Championship the first tournament McIlroy has won more than twice.

Ancer posted a final-round 66 to secure sole possession of second spot, a shot better off than Viktor Hovland (67) and overnight leader Keith Mitchell (72).

Gary Woodland (71) finished three strokes adrift of McIlroy at seven under through 72 holes, while former Masters champion Patrick Reed's 70 saw him share sixth place alongside Matt Wallace (70) and Luke List (72).

U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau's hasty and expensive U-turn over the weekend resulted in a tie for ninth position – six shots off the pace.

DeChambeau flew home to Dallas on Friday after thinking he missed the cut. When the cut changed, the American star boarded another flight back to Charlotte for Saturday's third round.

In the final round, the powerful American carded a second successive three-under-par 68.

Keith Mitchell leads Rory McIlroy by two strokes following three rounds of the Wells Fargo Championship, where Bryson DeChambeau endured a whirlwind 24 hours.

American golfer Mitchell carded a five-under-par 66 to surge to the top of the leaderboard at Quail Hollow on Saturday.

Mitchell, whose solitary PGA Tour title came via the 2019 Honda Classic, was flawless in the penultimate round after holing five birdies without dropping a shot.

But four-time major champion McIlroy is lurking in Charlotte, where the two-time Wells Fargo Championship winner is two shots off the pace.

Former world number one McIlroy, who raced out to the lead, posted a three-under-par 68 to be tied for second position alongside Gary Woodland (70).

McIlroy was also two strokes back at the halfway stage of the tournament on Friday, having made the cut for the first time in two months.

A healthy crowd was in attendance to watch McIlroy lurk heading into the final round and the Northern Irish star – amid the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted attendances – said: "I sort of realised that it's hard for me to bring the best out in myself without that atmosphere that we had today. I'm excited to be in the position I'm in."

U.S. Open champion DeChambeau ended the day eight shots behind Mitchell following his third-round 68.

DeChambeau flew home to Dallas on Friday after thinking he missed the cut. When the cut changed, the American star boarded another flight back to Charlotte.

"It was funny," said DeChambeau. "We did a lot of scrambling last night to get back. One of the scenarios was like turning right back around, but the crew couldn't, you know, refuel and their hours were out. So we had to get a new crew, if anything, and it just didn't work out.

"So we're like, 'Well, let's just go in the morning'. So I left at 02:45am on a flight and I got here at 06:20am Drove 30 minutes to the golf course, put on my clothes in the locker room and headed out to the putting green. I did get a workout last night, though."

DeChambeau has a double-bogey or worse in each of his rounds at this year's Wells Fargo Championship. It is the fifth time in his career that he has recorded at least one double-bogey or worse in each of the first three rounds of a Tour event.

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.

Phil Mickelson knows Quail Hollow as well as any course on the PGA Tour, and his comfort there was clear on Thursday as he earned a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship. 

Mickelson carded a seven-under-par 64 to set the early pace in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the five-time major champion is looking for his first win in 17 consecutive appearances at the event. 

The 50-year-old has always played well there, though, finishing in the top five in half of his 16 previous starts at the tournament. 

Lee Kyoung-hoon and Keegan Bradley were two shots back after shooting 66s.

Mickelson recorded just one bogey on day one while carding eight birdies, including four of the last five holes. 

He won two Champions Tour events last year in his debut season on that circuit, but has not captured a PGA Tour title since winning at Pebble Beach in February 2019. 

Mickelson's last opening-round lead or co-lead came three weeks prior to that in Palm Springs, but he did not want to put any additional pressure on himself after Thursday's strong start.

"I don't want to jump ahead, I want to play a good round tomorrow," said Mickelson, who recorded his lowest score on Tour since a 63 in the second round of the 2020 Travelers Championship. "I have an opportunity to play a course I love with a great pairing.

"I'm playing well and I just want to kind of not get ahead of myself and go play another fun round."

Mickelson, who entered the week ranked number 115 in the world, has 30 career opening-round leads/co-lads – the second most on Tour since 1992.

American star Justin Thomas closed out the first round five shots off the pace, while U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and 2012 tournament winner Rickie Fowler are a stroke further back.

Former Masters champion Patrick Reed shot a 71 as Xander Schauffele and former world number one Rory McIlroy ended the day one over the card.

McIlroy – winner of the Wells Fargo Championship in 2015 – mixed three bogeys and two birdies on a challenging day for the four-time major champion.

Jon Rahm struggled following his opening-round 76, while defending champion Max Homa's bid for back-to-back titles started with a six-over-par 77.

Rory McIlroy branded plans for a Super Golf League "a money grab" as he underlined his opposition towards any breakaway competition.

A report in the Daily Telegraph this week outlined proposals for the Saudi Arabia-backed event, referred to as the Premier Golf League, with high-profile players said to have been offered hugely lucrative incentives to join.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addressed players ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship this week, where McIlroy is playing, with a Sky Sports report indicating professionals have been warned they will face immediate expulsion from the Tour should they sign up for closed-shop competition.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley announced opposition towards the alternative league "in the strongest possible terms", adding: "Since the launch of our strategic alliance last November, our two organisations have been working together to make global golf less fractured and not create further division, with the interests of all players and fans at the forefront of our thinking."

McIlroy, who said he was first approached about a breakaway format seven years ago, compared the proposals to football's European Super League, plans for which were largely abandoned 48 hours after it was announced due to an outrcry from fans and key figures in the sport.

"Maybe the source of the money has changed or the people that are in charge have changed, but nothing has happened [since 2014]," McIlroy, a four-time major winner, said on Wednesday.

"If you go back to what happened last week in Europe with the European Super League in football, people can see it for what it is, which is a money grab, which is fine if that's what you're playing golf for is to make as much money as possible. Totally fine, then go and do that if that's what makes you happy.

"But I'm playing this game to try to cement my place in history and my legacy and to win major championships and to win the biggest tournaments in the world. I honestly don't think there's a better structure in place in golf, and I don't think there will be.

"You have the strategic partnership as well between Europe and the PGA Tour and that's only going to strengthen the structure of golf going forward as well in terms of scheduling and all sorts of other stuff and working together a little bit more.

"I don't think it was a coincidence that the news came out yesterday just as the PGA Tour was having their annual player meeting and Jay addressing the membership. Yeah, I think you all know my feelings on it and I'm very much against it. I don't see why anyone would be for it."

"You saw what happened last week with the European Super League. The top 12 clubs got together and said 'let's keep more of the money for ourselves', and people didn't like that. It affects competition, it affects the integrity of competition. I just can't see how it works.

"It's a complicated issue, but I just don't see at this point how it can get going. And the possibility that people, if they do go in that direction, can't play in the biggest tournaments in the game?

"The game of golf, whether it's a right thing or a wrong thing, is so about history. We still talk about Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan and all those guys because that's what this game is. It's steeped in history and the legacies that those guys have."

Sam Burns earned his maiden PGA Tour title after winning the Valspar Championship by three strokes.

Burns and 2011 US PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley had been level atop the leaderboard through the second and third rounds in Palm Harbor, Florida.

But Burns broke the deadlock with his fellow American on Sunday courtesy of a three-under-par 68 at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club.

Burns mixed six birdies with three bogeys in the final round as the 24-year-old improved to 17 under and became the second youngest winner in Valspar Championship history.

He also became the fifth player to claim his first Tour title at the tournament, with Adam Hadwin the last to do so in 2017.

An even-par 71 saw Bradley drop down into sole possession of second spot – the four-time Tour champion's seventh runner-up finish in 273 starts.

It all turned sour for Bradley on the back nine, where he found water on the par-three 13th hole, leading to a double bogey. Burns birdied the 14th to open up a three-shot advantage and never looked back.

Viktor Hovland (65) and Cameron Tringale (68) finished tied for third – four strokes behind Burns, while American star Justin Thomas (70) earned a share of 13th position, six shots further back.

Two-time defending champion after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Paul Casey's bid for a three-peat ended following his final-round 68, which left him tied for 21st.

World number one Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, closed out the tournament 15 strokes adrift after his two-under-par 69.

Keegan Bradley and Sam Burns remained tied for the lead through three rounds at the Valspar Championship, where world number one Dustin Johnson fell down the standings.

Level atop the leaderboard at the tournament's halfway stage, American pair Bradley and Burns were again locked together on 14 under following Saturday's penultimate round in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Bradley, who won the 2011 US PGA Championship, and Burns both carded two-under-par 69s to be a stroke clear of charging countryman Max Homa at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club.

Burns – eyeing his maiden PGA Tour title – held a commanding three-stroke lead after Bradley bogeyed the 13th hole, but the latter chipped in for an eagle to cut the deficit to just one shot.

A Burns bogey on the par-four 16th left the duo deadlocked again before the pair exchanged bogeys at the last to head into the final round as the men to beat through 54 holes.

It is Burns' third 54-hole lead/co-lead of the season, level with Jordan Spieth for the most on the PGA Tour.

The last time Burns held the 54-hole lead/co-lead on tour, Homa came from behind to win the 2021 Genesis Invitational and the latter is once again looming large.

Homa, who posted a third-round 66, is looking to become the third player to win multiple titles during the 2020-21 season, joining Bryson DeChambeau and Stewart Cink.

American star Justin Thomas shot a four-under-par 67 to catapult himself into a tie for 18th, eight shots off the pace.

Johnson, meanwhile, struggled to a three-over 74 on day three of the event.

There was a dreadful end to the round for Johnson, who had two double-bogeys from his final three holes to crash down to even par for the tournament – 14 strokes behind Bradley and Burns.

Sam Burns has joined Keegan Bradley in the joint lead at the halfway point of the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Burns carded an eight-under 63 to rocket up the leaderboard to join overnight leader Bradley at the top.

Bradley shot a five-under 66 on the second day, after opening with back-to-back birdies, to maintain his spot, sitting at 12-under after 36 holes.

The 34-year-old American finished his round on a high, holing out with a spectacular eagle to grab a share of the lead with Burns who shot eight birdies across the day.

Lucas Glover, Max Homa and Charley Hoffman are all equal third, four shots off the pace at eight-under after two rounds.

Glover shot a six-under 65 on day two to move up the standings, while South African Charl Schwartzel and Englishman Tom Lewis also carded 65s to move into equal sixth in a group of five players.

Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas both remain in contention, albeit well back, at three-under and two-under after rounds of 68 and 71 respectively.

Phil Mickelson was among those to miss the cut, along with Emiliano Grillo, who was tied for second after the opening day, but shot a 76 on Friday.

Scott Harrington was disqualified from the event for signing a wrong scorecard, although he had missed the cut anyway.

Former PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley rattled off four birdies from the last five holes to open up a two-shot lead on the opening day of the Valspar Championship at Palm Harbor on Thursday.

The 34-year-old American, who is currently ranked 63rd, missed only one green on a day of low scoring as he carded a seven-under 64.

Bradley hit two birdies on the front nine, before accelerating on the back nine with five birdies from his final seven holes to claim a good lead ahead of five players tied in second.

"I know that I'm going to have some bogeys and some stress coming," Bradley said. "But as for today, I played so good and it feels good to go around a course like this and shoot that score."

Argentina's Emiliano Grillo along with American quartet Ryan Moore, Hank Lebioda, Max Homa and Patton Kizzire finished with five-under 66s to sit behind Bradley on the leaderboard.

World number two Justin Thomas is five back after a two-under 69 despite an eagle on the first, with three bogeys slowing him up.

Top ranked Dustin Johnson finished the opening day further back with an even 71, where he had a mixed front nine with three birdies and two bogeys, while Phil Mickelson shot 73 to start.

Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith claimed the Zurich Classic of New Orleans after defeating Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel in a play-off.

Leishman and Smith, who carded a final-round 70, won the first play-off hole to trump Oosthuizen and Schwartzel in the race for the title on Sunday.

Australian pair Leishman and Smith and South Africa's Oosthuizen-Schwartzel pairing (71) finished level at 20 under par through 72 holes, a shot clear of Americans Richy Werenski and Peter Uihlein (67).

The final round was the second foursome format of the tournament, after Thursday and Saturday's rounds used alternate-shot play at TPC Louisiana.

Smith and Leishman soared to the top of the leaderboard thanks to 12 holes of flawless golf, which featured four birdies, before three bogeys in five holes allowed Oosthuizen-Schwartzel to join them at the summit.

Leishman's birdie chip at the 16th hole tied the South Africans as the two teams headed for a play-off – the first play-off in the team format of the event since former Masters runner-up Smith and Jonas Blixt prevailed in 2017.

Defending champions Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer (70) finished 17 under overall, Xander Schauffele-Patrick Cantlay (67) and Henrik Stenson-Justin Rose (70) were two shots further back, while Tony Finau and Cameron Champ crashed down the leaderboard from joint-second to 17th place following their 76.

Schauffele and Cantlay combined for eight birdies and claimed a share of 11th place – tying the record for most par-breakers in a foursomes round at the tournament since it became a team event.

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.

 

 

 

Tony Finau and Cameron Champ posted a four-under-par 68 in alternate-shot play for a share of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans lead following the second round.

After the opening round consisted of four-ball play at the longstanding PGA Tour tournament, which turned into a team event in 2017, day two switched to the foursomes format.

American pair Finau and Champ head into the weekend 13 under through 36 holes, two strokes clear alongside Norwegian duo Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura, who were tied for the lead after day one.

Hovland and Ventura posted a 69 on Friday to stay atop the leaderboard at TPC Louisiana.

"I know we're having a good time with this format up to this point," Finau said. "We've both played some really solid golf, and we find ourselves at the top of the leaderboard.

"We'll do what we've been doing the last couple days, which is enjoy each other's company and not add any bonus pressure when it comes to team-mate golf."

Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson-Scottie Scheffler are 11 under at the halfway stage of the tournament.

Defending champions Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer recorded a two-under-par 71 to be five shots behind.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell – playing alongside Matt Wallace – aced the 217-yard 17th hole to finish the day with a 70.

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