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Rory McIlroy in a duel for the lead in the Bahamas

NASSAU – Rory McIlroy was in tears at the Ryder Cup becoming his best golf course of the year, and right now his only complaint is the calendar.

“I wish it was the end of March,” McIlroy said Thursday after turning 6 under 66 to share the lead with Daniel Berger and Abraham Ancer in the World of Heroes Challenge.

McIlroy is referring to the Masters, the only major tournament to keep him out of a Grand Slam career, and there’s plenty of golf to be played between now and the first week of April. But he has been in the spotlight since becoming emotional about what the Ryder Cup means after a rough week at Whistling Straits.

He won the CJ Cup in Las Vegas. He was leading the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai after 68 holes until a bad break led to a sloppy finish and Collin Morikawa overtook him.

And then on a warm and dry day in the Bahamas, he had six birdies and an eagle at par-4 14 achievable for another good start.

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It’s far from perfect, and he only had to point to a double donkey on par-5 in ninth as he made his second shot into the water. He failed to catch the other two par 5s, so it wasn’t exactly an inning he made the most of.

But it was enough to make him a little wistful as the year came to an end.

“I wish it was a different time of year like the way I’m playing,” McIlroy said. “But there’s no reason why I can’t start back in January and continue playing the way I’m playing. I will stay positive for the next few weeks. I’m not going to close the clubs completely. … My game is in good shape and I want to keep it there. “

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Berger, who hasn’t even played since the Ryder Cup. He showed up on the training ground at Albany on Monday, his cell phone in his pocket playing music, striped and proudly declaring, “Still got it!”

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He joked on Monday, not so much on Thursday.

Berger opened his four openings, hit an eagle on 11 par-5 and was in front of 20 for most of the day until the close. From the 18th fairway, hit by a water guard on the left side of the green, he slid well to the right, his chip didn’t reach the green and he had to do a five foot shot to get out with a bogey.

It’s the first time every stroke has counted on his card since September 4 when he finished with 64 at the Tour Championship. There’s plenty of time at the pool, and more time on the tennis court than the golf course. He played with his father, former Davis Cup player Jay Berger.

“It was probably the longest break I’ve had in my professional career,” he said. “I was a bit scared to take more than a month off because I hadn’t done it in a while, wondering if you would go back and still have it. But mentally and physically, I need rest.”

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Collin Morikawa got off to a decent start in his attempt to end the year with a win that took him to world No. He shot 68 with a sloppy pair of 8-irons from the fairway leading to the bogey. No matter what he does on the course, his year just keeps getting better.

British Open Champion engaged Third night.

“I’m just happy,” he said. “It will be a special day for us. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a great week. ”

Webb Simpson hit a ball his last seven, five birdies, one bogey on the 18th after hitting a tee into a palm bush. He was shot in the back along with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas, who suffered a worse fate than Simpson.

Thomas, who first wore sunglasses for laser eye surgery a few weeks ago, hit a seven-point bottom in the round until scoring a penalty from the bush to the right of the 18th fairway. He failed to make it. up and down and create double.

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Koepka played with him and was keeping pace until he beat the 13th, failed to beat par-4 14 and par-5 15 and had to settle for 67.

“Try to find it, man,” Koepka said. “It seems like the last two years have been a struggle except for the majors or the WGC.”

He missed the whipping he gave Bryson DeChambeau during a televised match in Las Vegas last week.

“Sometimes when you don’t have it, it feels like you’ll never get it again,” says Koepka. “But just keep going, keep fighting and figure it out.”

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https://www.ksat.com/sports/2021/12/02/rory-mcilroy-part-of-3-way-tie-for-lead-in-the-bahamas/ Rory McIlroy in a duel for the lead in the Bahamas

Huynh Nguyen

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