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Rory McIlroy in share of lead before Canadian Open final round

Rory McIlroy in action
Rory McIlroy won the last staging of the tournament in 2019

Rory McIlroy put himself in a strong position to defend his Canadian Open title as he shot a five-under-par 65 to move into a share of the lead heading into the final round.

The Northern Irishman carded six birdies and one bogey at St George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto to move alongside American Tony Finau.

An eight under 62 had given Finau the clubhouse lead before McIlroy’s charge.

McIlroy could have taken sole lead but missed a birdie putt on the 18th.

“I played really well,” the 33-year-old said. “A tinge of frustration that I didn’t hole that putt at the last.”

McIlroy, who hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the CJ Cup in October, praised the impact of spectators at the event, adding: “It’s unbelievable. I haven’t played in an atmosphere like this for a long, long time – walking onto the 16th tee it was almost deafening.

“Hopefully they will come out on Sunday and cheer us on. I’ve played a lot of good golf this year without winning.”

McIlroy is playing in the PGA Tour event while a number of his colleagues competed at the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational this week.

The PGA Tour has suspended all of its members who played in the tournament near London, a move that was backed by McIlroy.

Finau and McIlroy are on 11 under for the tournament with American quartet Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, Wyndham Clark and Alex Smalley two shots back on nine under.

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