Finance

Rory McIlroy set to miss Europe's flagship event due to back injury

Rory McIlroy set to miss Europe's flagship event due to back injury

JB Holmes (70) and Kyle Stanley (72) will go into the final round tied for the lead on nine under par, one clear of Louis Oosthuizen, after Garcia defied the blustery conditions that hampered the field in the middle part of the day as he fired a superb 67 to get to five under.

A day after making a hole-in-one on the 17th hole and its island green in the opening round of the Players Championship, the 37-year-old Spaniard saw his tee shot on the par 3 hit the bulkhead, bounce in the air and land safely on the green before two-putting from 46 feet for par.

The British player's poor form has seen him drop down the world rankings to 21st after he failed to make the cut in his defence of the Masters last month.

McGirt made his first eagle with a 55-foot putt at the par-five 11th before sinking a 10-footer at the par-five 16th.

After playing just 13 tournaments past year due to a foot injury, Poulter had 10 events this season to earn 218 FedEx Cup points or 347,634 United States dollars (£269,755) to remain fully exempt.

Poulter battled hard to keep a bogey off his card and ground out a commendable 71 to get within three of the lead along with Emiliano Grillo, who made seven birdies in his 67, while Si Woo Kim is well placed on seven under after a 68 despite a big mistake at the 16th - his only blemish of the day.

As well as winning four Major titles, McIlroy has won two World Golf Championship events and four FedEx Cup playoff tournaments, with his victory in last year's Tour Championship giving him the overall title and $10million bonus.

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He came up short in both categories with 155 FedEx Cup points and Dollars 317,010 (£245,991), but Gay - who was also playing on a medical exemption after back problems - came to the rescue by discovering a difference between the way points were allotted this season compared to a year ago.

Garcia told Sky Sports: " It was very windy - not very consistent with the wind either.

"I've just sort of been managing it since, so it's okay, it's manageable".

"I've told you guys many, many times it's one of my favorite golf courses we play all year, and for some reason I can see what I want to do", Garcia told reporters.

"Today I was able to free up a little bit and hit some really good shots so hopefully I will be able to do more of the same tomorrow".

Masters champion Sergio Garcia and world number one Dustin Johnson were alongside McIlroy on level par after rounds of 71 and 73 respectively.


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