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Rory McIlroy: Defending CJ Cup champion a shot ahead and a round away from becoming World No 1 again | Golf News


“Ultimately, I just want to win this golf tournament. If I win the golf tournament, then everything will take care of itself. Focusing on that, hope that that ends up with a couple of things, a trophy and getting back to the top of the world rankings” – Rory McIlroy

Last Updated: 23/10/22 7:46am

Rory McIlroy is one shot ahead at the CJ Cup, and one round from returning to world No 1

Rory McIlroy is one shot ahead at the CJ Cup, and one round from returning to world No 1

Rory McIlroy is just one round away from becoming world No 1 one for the ninth time as the defending champion sits atop the CJ Cup leaderboard.

The 33-year-old is ahead by one stroke at the Congaree Golf Club in South Carolina after eagling twice, and carding trios of birdies and bogeys, en route to a second straight 67.

The Northern Irishman ended the third round at 13 under, with 2021 US Open champion Jon Rahm of Spain, American Kurt Kitayama and South Korea’s KH Lee all trailing a shot behind.

McIlroy can return to the top of the rankings for the first time since July 2020 by winning his 23rd PGA Tour event at the tournament which has been moved from Las Vegas.

“Ultimately, I just want to win this golf tournament. If I win the golf tournament, then everything will take care of itself,” McIlroy said after finishing play.

“So for me, tomorrow I need to go out there, set myself a score that I want to shoot, try to do that.

“Focusing on that, hope that that ends up with a couple of things, a trophy and getting back to the top of the world rankings.”

Spain's Jon Rahm, along with American Kurt Kitayama and South Korea's KH Lee, trail by a shot

Spain’s Jon Rahm, along with American Kurt Kitayama and South Korea’s KH Lee, trail by a shot

Tommy Fleetwood of England shot a second straight 66 to be eight under, with his compatriot Tyrrell Hatton and Irishman Shane Lowry another stroke behind followed by reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick at six under.

Sheffield’s Danny Willett and Munster man Seamus Power rounded out the British and Irish contingent at three under.

Watch The CJ Cup throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Sunday from 8pm on Sky Sports Golf.

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