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McIlroy shares lead with Kuchar and Scott in California, but new doubts about Woods emerge as Masters

Rory McIlroy shares the lead with Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott on the Genesis Invitational but new doubts about Tiger Woods as Masters loom

  • McIlroy shares the lead on par 10 with Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott
  • Dustin Johnson on the march after a 67 put him two shots behind the leaders
  • Tournament writer Woods admitted that after a 76 he was struggling with his condition

Another good day for Rory McIlroy at the Genesis Invitational, but a very disturbing day for the tournament organizer, Tiger Woods.

A superstar leads the lead on Sunday in the final round in Riviera with American Matt Kuchar and Australian Adam Scott after a nice round of 68. The other is one of the rear markers after admitting health problems with his Masters defense now just over seven weeks away.

“I’m a bit empty and feel stiff, as can be seen in my game,” said Woods, who shot a miserable 76 on Saturday and offered the bleak assessment that he can only compete in up to 12 events seasonally for the rest of his career .

New world No. 1 Rory McIlroy leads the lead on Sunday in the final lap in Riviera

New world No. 1 Rory McIlroy leads the lead on Sunday in the final lap in Riviera

A victim is this week’s WGC-Mexico championship, where Tiger would be guaranteed without a guaranteed valuable world ranking, FedEx Cup and Olympic qualifying points midway through.

However, Woods admitted that he just wasn’t fit enough to do himself justice. “That is one of the challenges of the merger that I went through, and I just wouldn’t be ready to play,” said the 44-year-old. “Cold mornings such as Friday don’t help. I didn’t move well, but that’s just how it works. “

After Mexico comes the Florida swing of four weeks on the PGA Tour. One event (the Honda Classic) is in Tiger’s hometown, while another event is the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a tournament he has won eight times. A third is the characteristic event of the PGA Tour, the Players Championship.

Asked when he plans to play afterwards, Woods offered no idea, with the only guarantee that he will not play in all three. “I’m still trying to figure out this comeback,” he said. “Do I listen to my body or try to push things? You know, the idea is to be ready for the Masters, so I’m working towards that.

Tiger Woods admitted that he struggled with his condition after a miserable 76 on Saturday

Tiger Woods admitted that he struggled with his condition after a miserable 76 on Saturday

Tiger Woods admitted that he struggled with his condition after a miserable 76 on Saturday

“I played 12 times last year and that’s my number now. I can’t play more than that because of the physical toll, and I want to stay here for a little longer. “

Looking for a record 83rd PGA Tour victory in the only event he did not win, Woods started strong Thursday and was four under par after nine holes with two kick-in birdies and an eagle. Put Tiger in that position for much of his career, and the main topic of conversation afterwards was invariably the size of the victory margin.

This is where the new reality began. Clearly hampered by stiffness, he was completely in place on his back nine, and so it went on. Where it really affects him is on the greens. Only once in his entire career, in 1998, did he have two four putts in the same season. Now he has had two out of two trips this year.

As for McIlroy, he didn’t have many putts either. If he had done this, this tournament, his first since his return to number one place in the world, would have been done and dusted, and the final round an 18-hole victory round.

The American Matt Kuchar and the Australian Adam Scott (above) share the lead with Rory McIlroy

The American Matt Kuchar and the Australian Adam Scott (above) share the lead with Rory McIlroy

The American Matt Kuchar and the Australian Adam Scott (above) share the lead with Rory McIlroy

In total, the Northern Irishman missed no less than eight putts within 11 ft. On the other hand, his hugely underrated chipping game saved him at the last, where he played a beautifully skillful battle to save par.

“I hit the ball a lot better today and gave myself a lot of chances, but they were usually on the wrong side of the hole, so I had to be a little defensive,” McIlroy said. “All in all I have to be happy. I gave myself a big chance to win. “

Regarding Scott, the 39-year-old is a former winner of this event and seeks his first win on the PGA Tour for almost four years on the track he considers the best on the circuit. Another former winner, Dustin Johnson, is also on march after a 67 of his own only two shots behind.

The Englishman Paul Casey is five after a 70, with Matt Fitzpatrick one more drift after a 68, but Justin Rose fell off the pace after a disappointing 74.

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