Rory is still the Story. A pedestrian round — or if you prefer, a clinical round — of -2 by Rory, but that’s all he needed. Played it very safe at the end, laying up and parring both the drivable par-4 and the finishing par-5, winning by three.
Rory with a nice putt on No. 12 to save par and maintain a 4-shot lead with six holes remaining. He’s not been sharp today. Putting and driving have been okay, but his approach irons have been surprisingly off-target. Rory really wants this tournament, to notch a win early in the season. He’s safely in the fairway on No. 13.
Rory leads by four after nine holes played. Westwood with an unfortunate double drops down the leaderboard. Noren, Sullivan, Madsen are the closest chasers. Rory shot even par on the front, with one birdie, one bogey.
I could hardly be described as a fashionista, but Rory’s red/pink belt is quite the complement to the red/pink stripe on his shirt. They are playing threesomes, so Westwood, who has picked up two shots on Rory, is in Rory’s group. That could add to today’s drama. Westwood birdies No. 5 to Rory’s par and pulls to within four.
Rory birdied No. 3, while Madsen played the first three holes in +1 (triple, birdie, birdie, par), so Rory’s closest chasers are now Westwood and Noren, both five shots back. Rory parred No. 4, which is where the TV coverage began.