Memphis: Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka jumped clear of the field in the third round at the WGC-St. Jude Invitational in Memphis on Saturday.
McIlroy finished in style with three successive birdies, coaxing in a 27-foot putt at the last to take the lead with an eight-under-par 62 in ideal conditions at TPC Southwind.
The Northern Irishman posted a 12-under 198 total, one stroke better than American Koepka, who had a seven-birdie 64.
Halfway leader Matthew Fitzpatrick of England slipped two shots off the pace with an inconsistent 69.
McIlroy, who missed the cut last week at the British Open in his homeland at Royal Portrush, said precise wedge play had been the key to his score on Saturday.
“I had a lot of good (approach yardage) numbers where I could go ahead and make a full committed swing,” he told CBS television. “I just dialled my distances in today with the wedges. It worked today. One of my goals was to hit it pin high and I hit it pin high most of the day.” He also putted well.
“These greens are so pure if you get it on line and get it rolling properly,” he said. “I’ve holed a lot of putts this week.”