Rory McIlroy chases lead trio in bid to end major win drought

Rory McIlroy chases lead trio in bid to end major win drought


LA JOLLA – Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy tries to snap a seven-year major win drought by chasing down a trio of co-leaders in Sunday's final round of the 121st US Open.

McIlroy, who ended an 18-month US PGA win drought last month, was two strokes off the pace, level with defending champion Bryson DeChambeau after 54 holes at Torrey Pines.

South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, shared the lead with Canada's Mackenzie Hughes and American Russell Henley, all on five-under 208 through three rounds.

Hot on their heels was McIlroy, who played himself into contention with a four-under 67 on Saturday but has never won a major when trailing after 36 holes.

The 32-year-old from Northern Ireland won his first major 10 years ago at the US Open at Congressional, then won the 2012 PGA Championship and back-to-back majors at the 2014 British Open and PGA Championship.

World number 11 McIlroy has managed two top-10 major finishes each year since without a victory, but hopes to end that futility on the oceanside layout.

McIlroy, who ended his US PGA win drought at Quail Hollow last month on Mother's Day, could win the US Open on the first Father's Day since he became a dad with the birth of daughter Poppy last August.

Four other major winners were among 13 golfers under par entering the final round at Torrey Pines, but the one to catch was Oosthuizen, who has had five runner-up major finishes since his only major win 11 years ago at St. Andrews.

World number 18 “Oosty” is 1-for-2 with 54-hole major leads, his loss coming in a 2015 British Open playoff.

Henley, ranked 63rd, hasn't won a US PGA event since 2017 and has never finished in the top-10 of a major in 26 attempts.

Hughes, ranked 67th, won his only US PGA title in 2016 at Sea Island and missed the cut in his prior five tour starts before the Open. He missed the cut in six of his eight prior major starts.

Fifth-ranked DeChambeau, whose 68 on Saturday was the first bogey-free major round of his career, could become only the third man in the past 70 years to capture back-to-back US Opens after fellow Americans Curtis Strange and Brooks Koepka.

Spain's third-ranked Jon Rahm, chasing his first major title after spending last week in Covid-19 quarantine, shared sixth on 3-under with Americans Matthew Wolff and Scottie Scheffler.

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson and 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa were in a 1-under pack.

Four-time major winner Koepka, world number two Justin Thomas, Englishman Ian Poulter and Paul Casey and Italy's Francesco Molinari, the 2018 British Open champion, were in a pack on level par.

Rahm and Thomas could overtake Johnson for the world number one spot with a victory.


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