Rory McIlroy makes a charge, and other things you missed from Round 3 at the Tournament of Champions

January 6, 2019

The third round of the 2019 Tournament of Champions is complete, and Gary Woodland remains on top of the leaderboard in Hawaii. But a bevy of PGA Tour stars like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau are close behind and will look to overtake Woodland over the final 18 holes.

If you missed out due to the time change, here are four things you need to know from Friday’s third round in Hawaii.

1. Rory McIlroy makes a charge

McIlroy got off to a blistering start with three-straight birdies on holes 4-6. He added another at the Plantation Course’s par-5 9th hole to shoot four-under 36 on the front nine. His fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 14th hole briefly moved him into a tie for the lead.

The Northern Irishman finished the day with four straight pars for a five-under 68 and will begin the final round three shots back with a solid chance to start off the year with a big statement.

Rory McIlroy during the third round of the 2019 Tournament of Champions
Rory McIlroy during the third round of the 2019 Tournament of Champions.
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2. Brooks and Bubba go bust

Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson have high hopes for 2019. Koepka took his place among golf’s elite with two major wins last year, and Bubba is coming off a comeback season of his own that saw him capture three victories.

But any efforts to back up their terrific 2018 campaigns will have to wait at least one more week. Bubba went one over on Saturday and through 36 holes he is one of just three players over par. The picture isn’t much better for Brooks. A round of 73 on day 3 moved him to T29, one spot in front of Bubba.

 

3. Gary Woodland stands strong

I guess those new clubs are working. Woodland took hold of the lead with a 67 on Friday, and he showed few signs of letting up on Saturday. A bogey at the 12th hole looked like it might cost him the 36-hole lead, but Woodland battled back with an eagle at the par-5 15th to get to 16 under. A closing birdie gave him a third-round 68 and a three-shot lead heading into Sunday.

 

4. Bryson battles back

With all the noise he’s been making involving the rules, it’s easy to forget that DeChambeau won four tournaments in 2018 and is one of the hottest golfers on the planet. Bryson began the third round at nine under, but he got off to a glacial start. A bogey at 12 left him at one over on the day and a long way off the lead.

Then came the turnaround. He rattled off four birdies on his way in at 13, 15, 17 and 18 to salvage a round of 70 and finish at 12 under. One great round stands between the young star and PGA Tour win No. 6.