Rory McIlroy played a tee shot into a swimming pool during a shocking start to his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play campaign, where he was hammered 6 and 5 by Ian Poulter.

The Northern Irishman has had well documented issues with his swing in recent weeks and has linked up with renowned coach Pete Cowen for the tournament at the Austin Country Club.

But McIlroy struggled badly during his round-robin opener against fellow Europe Ryder Cup star Poulter and was already two down by the time he pulled his tee shot wildly left at the fifth tee, with his ball sinking into the pool at a nearby house.

He managed to claw within one by the eighth, but Poulter then won five holes in a row to condemn McIlroy to a heavily opening defeat in Group 11, where Cameron Smith beat Lanto Griffin in the pool's other opener.

Dustin Johnson had no such woe as he started with a 2 Up win over Adam Long in Group One, while Jon Rahm defeated Sebastian Munoz 1 Up (Group 3), and Bryson DeChambeau overcame Antoine Rozner 2 Up (Group 5).

Justin Thomas was beaten 3 and 2 by Matt Kuchar (Group 2), though, while Jordan Spieth outclassed Matthew Fitzpatrick 3 and 1 (Group 15) despite a comedy moment when he drove the 15th green…but from the 13th tee.

Rory McIlroy admitted chasing Bryson DeChambeau's power cost him after the four-time major champion comfortably missed the cut at The Players Championship as Lee Westwood produced a flawless performance to lead the way.

DeChambeau's power play at last year's U.S. Open has changed golf for many across the PGA and European Tours, with former world number one McIlroy trying to add length to his game.

But defending Players champion McIlroy, without a win since 2019, missed the cut by 10 strokes on Friday – a second-round 75 adding to his opening 79 at TPC Sawgrass.

After another forgettable day, which included a double-bogey, three bogeys and two birdies, McIlroy explained his struggles, telling reporters: "Probably, like October last year, doing a little bit of speed training, started getting sucked into that stuff, swing got flat, long and too rotational.

"Obviously I added some speed and am hitting the ball longer but what that did to my swing as a whole probably wasn't a good thing. So I'm sort of fighting to get back out of that. That’s what I'm frustrated with."

McIlroy added: "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't anything to do with what Bryson did at the US Open. I think a lot of people saw that and were like, 'Whoa, if this is the way they're going to set golf courses up in the future, it helps. It really helps'.

"The one thing that people don't appreciate is how good Bryson is out of the rough. Not only because of how upright he is but because his short irons are longer than standard, so he can get a little more speed through the rough than us, than other guys.

"I thought being able to get some more speed is a good thing and maybe just to the detriment a little bit of my swing, I got there. I just need to maybe rein it back in a little bit."

Westwood had no such trouble during the second round – the Englishman using a six-under-par 66 to earn a one-stroke lead at nine under before darkness suspended play.

After finishing second at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, Westwood roared to the top of the leaderboard through 36 holes via a dazzling round, which included six birdies and no bogeys.

It is the third time Westwood has led after two rounds at The Players Championship – in 2005 and 2010 – but he is yet to win.

The 47-year-old is a two-time PGA Tour champion, though his last success came in 2010.

Countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick (68) is a stroke off the pace, one shot ahead of Chris Kirk (65) and Sergio Garcia (72), who led after the opening round.

U.S. Open champion and Arnold Palmer Invitational winner DeChambeau posted a second-round 69 to be tied for fifth at six under.

World number one Dustin Johnson's second round in the 70s catapulted him up 22 positions into a tie for 36th, eight shots behind Westwood, while Jordan Spieth (74) is a stroke further back.

Xander Schauffele (74) was among the stars to miss the cut – the American's Tour-best streak of 23 consecutive made cuts coming to an end.

Lee Westwood roared to the top of the leaderboard at The Players Championship as the in-form Englishman hit a dazzling 66 to reach nine under par.

After a second place last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the 47-year-old gave another indication he could be a contender this weekend as he established the clubhouse lead.

Westwood has won twice on the PGA Tour, at the 1998 Freeport-McDermott Classic and 2010 St Jude Classic, and a third title would be a long time in coming.

His girlfriend Helen Storey is also his caddie, and Westwood spoke of her positive influence, calling it "very important".

"I'm a lot less serious and fairly light-hearted," Westwood said on the Golf Channel. "There's lot of smiling going on out there and in life in general.

"We're both having fun out there and not treating it too seriously. Obviously I try 110 per cent. I do all the work off the course, in the gym and a lot of stretching nowadays.

"But when I go out on the golf course I play carefree golf, just not worrying about the consequences and the outcomes.

"I think we all try and go out there and get into the zone, whatever it may be for all of us.

"The zone for me is to go out there and not really having anything going on - just getting the yardage, picking the clubs, seeing the shot and trying to do as good as I can on it."

A birdie at the last capped a bogey-free round for Westwood.

Rory McIlroy's faint hopes of making the cut were over long before he finished his second round, with the 2019 champion following his opening 79 with a front nine of 37 before a double bogey at the par-four 10th left no doubt he would miss the weekend.

McIlroy had been undone by a quadruple-bogey eight at the 18th hole in his opening round, which was far from the worst score on the course.

A day after hitting four balls into the water and making 11 at the par-three 17th, the famous island hole, South Korean Byeong Hun An found the green from the tee this time and went close to a birdie.

He rolled a 16-foot putt to the edge of the hole and tapped in for par, getting a warm reception as he put Thursday's nightmare behind him. Like McIlroy, however, his hopes of making the cut were already shot.

Sergio Garcia earned a two-stroke lead thanks to a late surge in the opening round of The Players Championship, while defending champion Rory McIlroy endured a nightmare start.

An 18-foot eagle at the final hole propelled Garcia to the round of the day – a seven-under-par 65 – and top spot on Thursday.

Garcia, who won the Players in 2008 and lost a play-off in 2015, gained four strokes from his last three holes in Ponte Vedra Beach, where play was suspended due to darkness.

Masters champion in 2017, Garcia had eagles at the 16th and ninth holes (both par-fives) for his first round at TPC Sawgrass with multiple eagles – his 77th career round.

It is also Garcia's first 65 or better at the venue since 2013, after the Spanish star was almost late for his opening-round tee time.

"I thought I had plenty of time. Obviously I left the range at 7:35, I was teeing off at 7:40 so I figured it's going to take me probably two, three minutes at most to get to 10," Garcia said. 

"I don't know if the clock on the range was behind or something, but when I got to the putting green just like 50 yards short of 10 I kind of looked at it and the sun was coming up so I couldn't see if it was 7:38 or 7:39 but just in case I just took a little stroll, made sure that I got there before it turned to [7:40]."

Brian Harman is five under heading into the second round, a shot clear of Matthew Fitzpatrick, Corey Conners and Shane Lowry at the PGA Tour event, where 21 players will complete their first rounds on Friday morning.

U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who claimed last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, opened with a first-round 69, highlighted by six birdies.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth, 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed and Jason Day are among 14 players tied for 12th position at two under, while Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas are a stroke further back.

World number one Dustin Johnson signed for a 73, but McIlroy had a quadruple-bogey eight on his card as the former world number one posted a seven-over-par 79.

Still the defending champion after last year's tournament was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, McIlroy returned and struggled dramatically after two balls found water.

McIlroy recorded 43 on the back nine – his first nine – tying the highest opening nine-hole score of his PGA Tour career (677th round).

Henrik Stenson had an even worse day than McIlroy, with an 85 from Sweden's former Open champion featuring two double bogeys and two triples and three balls in the water.

It marked the highest score of Stenson's Tour career, eclipsing his previous high of 83.

Rory McIlroy had a quadruple-bogey eight on his card as the former world number one endured a shocking start to his title defence at The Players Championship.

The Northern Irishman finished his first round on a seven-over-par 79, with two balls at the bottom of a lake, and facing a huge battle to make the cut.

McIlroy began on the back nine and made an immediate double bogey, but the round got worse when he sent two balls into the giant expanse of water to the left of the fairway at the 18th.

The four-time major winner gave himself a chance from close range to limit the damage to three shots, but McIlroy could not sink the putt.

Having also dropped a shot at the 13th hole - his fourth - it meant McIlroy reached the turn in seven-over-par 43.

He picked up shots at the first and second to get back to five over, but further damage to his scorecard at the next two holes saw the 31-year-old return to seven over.

A third three-putt of the round at that fourth hole summed up McIlroy's misery, and although he soon picked up another shot and began to play steadily, more putting peril at the ninth, his final hole, inflicted yet more damage.

McIlroy was not alone in sending balls into the water.

England's Paul Casey took seven at the 17th, the famous three-par island hole at Sawgrass, after going into the drink both off the tee and from the drop zone.

That outcome saw Casey plunge from two under par to two over, but he steadied himself and finished with a one-over 73.

Henrik Stenson had an even worse day than his fellow European Ryder Cup stars, with an 85 from Sweden's former Open champion featuring two double bogeys and two triples and three balls in the water.

While McIlroy, Casey and Stenson ran into trouble, Sergio Garcia led the way as he secured the clubhouse lead with a sparkling seven-under 65, the Spaniard with a pair of eagles in his round.

This tournament was called off after the first round last year due to the developing COVID-19 crisis, with McIlroy the most recent champion in 2019, when he edged out Jim Furyk by one shot.

Rory McIlroy hopes Tiger Woods can return home next week and revealed the 15-time major winner had given him "heat" from his hospital bed after he failed to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods has been recovering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after he suffered serious injuries to both of his legs in a car crash last month.

The American's car rolled several hundred feet in a single-vehicle accident that he was considered to be very fortunate to survive.

Woods underwent a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle, but is on the mend and McIlroy says the legendary 45-year-old may be discharged from hospital in the near future.

The former world number one told The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon: "Hopefully we see him back out here on Tour soon.

"I've spoken to him a little bit. He's doing better, and I think all the guys have reached out to him.

"Hopefully, if things go well over the next week or so, he might be able to get home and start his recovery at home, which will be great for him to see his kids, see his family.

"I just think all of us are wishing him a speedy recovery at this point."

McIlroy says Woods had been in touch with him before and after the Northern Irishman missed an opportunity to secure victory at Bay Hill on Sunday, with Bryson DeChambeau crowned champion.

The five-time major champion, who found the water twice at the sixth hole in his final round, said: "He texted me some words of encouragement before the final round at Bay Hill on Sunday, and things didn't quite go to plan.

"But Tiger was the first one to text me afterwards and be like 'What's going on here?' So even from the hospital bed he's still giving me some heat!"

Rory McIlroy insists his best years are yet to come as he prepares to defend his title at The Players Championship.

McIlroy will this weekend attempt to defend the title he won in 2019 for a second time, with last year's tournament having been called off after the first round due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Northern Irishman started the 2020 event with a 72, leaving him nine shots adrift of leader Hideki Matsuyama and facing a battle to hold onto the trophy.

That performance was in stark contrast to his form leading up to last year, when he arrived at TPC Sawgrass as world number one after top-five finishes in each of his first four tournaments of 2020.

McIlroy found it a comparative struggle after golf restarted from its three-month break, and he endured a frustrating weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, following an opening 66 with rounds of 71, 72 and 76 to finish eight shots behind winner Bryson DeChambeau.

Given the 31-year-old has not won any of golf's majors since 2014, it was put to him that the best years of his career could now be behind him, but that is something he disputes.

He told reporters on Tuesday: "I've talked about this before: you have to be an eternal optimist in this game, and I truly believe that my best days are ahead of me, and you have to believe that.

"There's no point in me being out here if I didn't think that. That's just not part of my psyche or anyone's psyche out here. I think that's the difference between people that make it to the elite level and the people that don't, because they don't think that way. I certainly believe that my best days are ahead of me, and I'm working hard to make sure that they are.

"It felt so good on Thursday and then felt off a little bit on the weekend, so it's like, what happened? What changed? What is the difference? I think that's where I've sort of struggled the last few weeks is that inconsistency of the good being very good, good enough to lead the golf tournament, but when it just gets slightly off, not being able to manage it.

"There's inconsistency in my ball-striking from day-to-day. On my approach play on Thursday, I gained nearly three shots on the field, and then Saturday I lost nearly three. It's just the inconsistency. It's not being able to manage the misses as well as I usually do.

"The good golf is in there, and I feel capable of going out and shooting good scores any week that I play on any golf course that I play, but it's the days where you don't feel so good that you need to manage it and get it around in a couple under par. That's the challenge for me right now."

McIlroy accepts he will likely find this weekend's challenge more difficult than two years ago, but he remains confident he can challenge.

"I feel like I can go out there this week and string four good rounds together, but it's maybe just a bit more of a challenge than it maybe felt a couple years ago," he added.

"But that's on me to try to get a little more comfortable and work pretty hard these next couple of days to be ready to go on Thursday and feel like I'm in a bit of a better place with it all."

Bryson DeChambeau claimed his eighth PGA Tour title after reigning supreme at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

U.S. Open champion and big-hitting American star DeChambeau won by one stroke following his one-under-par 71 in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

DeChambeau was at his brilliant best as he tamed Bay Hill in a low-scoring final day in windy conditions.

After smacking a 377-yard driver over the lake at the sixth hole, DeChambeau held his nerve to drain a five-foot par for victory ahead of Lee Westwood (73) at 11 under.

"It's been quite a battle this entire time. I don't even know what to say. To win at Mr Palmer's event — it's going to make me cry," a teary DeChambeau said. "It means the world to me."

DeChambeau also singled out 15-time major champion Tiger Woods, who is recovering following a near-fatal single-car crash last week.

Woods holds the record for the most Arnold Palmer Invitational trophies with eight.

"He obviously had done really well here ... we just talked about keep fighting no matter what happened, play boldly like Mr Palmer did," DeChambeau said.

"My heart has been heavy with Tiger and what's been going on with him and I just kept telling myself 'it's now how many times you get kicked down it's about how many times you can pick back up and you keep going'. That's what I surely did out there today."

Canadian golfer Corey Conners finished third at eight under following his final-round 74, two strokes ahead of Andrew Putnam (71), Richy Werenski (73) and former world number one Jordan Spieth (75) – who is searching for his first win since 2017.

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy ended the tournament in a tie for 10th, eight shots adrift of DeChambeau, after shooting a four-over-par 76.

Tyrrell Hatton – the defending champion – closed out his campaign with a final-round 77 to be 10 strokes behind the winner.

Lee Westwood surged into the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational ahead of Bryson DeChambeau, who stole the show with a monstrous 370-yard drive on the sixth.

English 47-year-old Westwood shot a seven-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead at 11 under heading into the final day, sitting ahead of DeChambeau (68) and previous leader Corey Conners (71), who are tied for second.

Keegan Bradley shot a round-best eight-under 64 with his 59th career bogey-free round to move into equal fourth alongside Jordan Spieth (68) at nine under.

Westwood made his move with five birdies on the front nine on Saturday. He also hit an eagle on the 16th and a birdie on the challenging 18th..

"The first time I played here I felt 'this was good'," said Westwood, who has plenty of experience playing at Bay Hill.

"I like the way it makes you shape the ball into some of the fairways. It suits my game. I'm not the longest through the air anymore so it helps when I can use a lot of the fairway."

DeChambeau, who was the Invitational runner-up in 2018, had the crowds roaring on the 590-yard dog leg par-five sixth hole when he ambitiously succeeded in driving to clear the water in a 370-yard carry.

The 2020 U.S. Open champion shot a 68, including six birdies, but his monster drive was all the talk, having teased on social media that he would attempt it in the lead-up.

"I've never had so many people cheering me on to do something pretty cool," the American said.

"To have that opportunity and execute it was pretty special. Hopefully it's something I can do tomorrow again.

"I was definitely nervous. I caught it pretty solid. I didn't know how else to react."

Overnight leader Conners let slip his dominant position but remains in the hunt after two bogeys and three birdies for the round.

Early leader and 2018 Invitational winner Rory McIlroy slipped to equal seventh after an even-par round.

Doug Ghim drew level with McIlroy after an outstanding seven-under 65, with the duo joined at seven under by Jazz Janewattananond (69) and Richy Werenski (69).

Janewattananond made a hole-in-one at the 14th, while Spieth also produced an ace in the third round – his coming at the second.

Corey Conners holds a one-stroke advantage at the Arnold Palmer Invitational after moving clear in the second round as Rory McIlroy stayed within striking distance.

Conners and McIlroy were tied atop the leaderboard overnight, but the former earned the outright lead through 36 holes in Orlando, Florida on Friday.

Canadian golfer Conners, whose sole win on the PGA Tour came via the 2019 Texas Open, was almost flawless after carding a three-under-par 69 at Bay Hill.

Conners used an eagle, two birdies and just one bogey to improve to nine under – a shot ahead of Scotland's 2011 champion Martin Laird (67) – as the 29-year-old earned his second career 36-hole lead/co-lead on Tour.

"I haven't really been in this position a lot, but I have a lot of confidence in my game and feeling really relaxed the last few days, so try and keep that going,'' said Conners, who eagled the par-five 16th hole in each of the first two rounds – just the sixth player to do so at Bay Hill since 1992.

"I feel like I have a lot of energy. I had an off week last week and really excited for the weekend.''

Former world number one McIlroy lost his share of top spot at the halfway stage of the tournament, but the four-time major champion is only two strokes off the pace.

Winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2018, McIlroy shot a one-under-par 71 to be tied for third alongside Norwegian star Viktor Hovland (68) and Lanto Griffin (68).

McIlroy needed just 10 putts on the front nine, one shy of his Tour best on nine holes – the 2016 Players Championship. It marked the 14th time he required only 10 putts on nine holes.

"It could have been the round that I could have shot 74 or 75. I got in with 71 and pretty happy with that,'' McIlroy said post-round.

U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau is six under overall following his second-round 71.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth (69) – eyeing his first victory since 2017 – is a stroke further back and tied for seventh alongside Justin Rose (68), Paul Casey (69) and Im Sung-jae (70).

Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton completed a stunning turnaround as he avoided the cut.

After opening his title defence with a first-round 77, Hatton regrouped by shooting a 67 – a 10-stroke turnaround on Friday.

Patrick Reed was not so fortunate, the 2018 Masters champion's round of 73 and 74 seeing him finish three over, a shot above the cut line.

Rory McIlroy channelled Tiger Woods in the opening round as the former world number one impressed on his way to a share of the one-stroke lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

McIlroy's birdie blitz saw the four-time major champion card a near-flawless six-under-par 66 in Orlando, Florida on Thursday.

Winner of the PGA Tour event in 2018, McIlroy holed seven birdies – including five in a row on the back nine – to lift the Northern Irishman to the top of the leaderboard alongside Canada's Corey Conners.

McIlroy's birdie run from the second to the sixth hole tied the second-longest streak of his career in a round on the PGA Tour, having also managed the feat twice in 2015 (Wells Fargo Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational).

Reflecting on his bright start at Bay Hill, McIlroy said he was inspired by 15-time major winner and American superstar Woods – who has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on eight occasions throughout his illustrious career.

Woods is currently recovering after undergoing surgery following a near-fatal single-vehicle crash last week.

"Obviously a 66 is a great way to start the tournament," said McIlroy, who is without a win since 2019. "I feel like you don't have to do anything special to shoot a good score here. You can be really conservative off the tees if you want to be, so there are a bunch of irons that you can hit off tees.

"I think the toughest thing about this course is the par-threes and I played them in three under today, so that was a bonus. But I've watched Tiger enough here over the years and the way he played this course was, he played it very conservatively, he took care of the par-fives, and that was usually good enough to get the job done. So I've taken a little bit of a leaf out of his book."

U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau is a shot off the pace following his five-under-par 67, while Jason Kokrak, Byeong Hun An and Sebastian Munoz are a stroke further back.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth – eyeing his first victory since 2017 – ended the first round in a tie for 15th and four shots behind the leading pair.

Tyrrell Hatton's title defence got off to a forgettable start after shooting a first-round 77 to be five over the card heading into Friday's second round.

Tiger Woods was touched by the support of his peers at the WGC-Workday Championship, expressing his gratitude as he continues to recover following a car crash.

Woods was involved in a single-vehicle incident that saw his car roll "several hundred feet" on Tuesday – the 15-time major champion, who was "very fortunate" to survive, undergoing a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle.

The crash involving Woods rocked the golf and sports community, with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy among the players to have showed their support on Sunday by wearing the American great's traditional final-round outfit amid doubts over his long-term future.

After donning Woods' iconic red shirt and black pants, McIlroy – who finished tied for sixth at The Concession Golf Club in Florida – said: "Obviously things are looking a little better today than they were on Tuesday, but he's still got a ways to go. He's got a huge recovery ahead of him.

"I think it was just for everyone to show their appreciation for what he means to us out here. If there was no Tiger Woods, I just think the Tour and the game of golf would be in a worse place.

"He's meant a lot to us, he still does mean a lot to us, and I think that was just a little way to show that."

Woods then tweeted: "It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts.

"To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time."

American Collin Morikawa, 24, followed in the footsteps of Woods after claiming the WGC-Workday Championship by three strokes.

Winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, four-time PGA Tour champion Morikawa joined Woods as the only players to win a major championship and WGC event before turning 25.

Further to that feat, Morikawa also became the seventh player to clinch four or more PGA Tour tournaments – including a major – under the age of 25 after Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jerry Pate.

Morikawa paid tribute to Woods, saying: "Tiger means everything to me. Yes, he had the crash and thankfully he's alright and hopefully he has a quick and great recovery, but I don't think we say thank you enough. So, I want to say thank you to Tiger." 

Collin Morikawa added the WGC-Workday Championship to his growing list of achievements after triumphing by three strokes.

Winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, Morikawa used a three-under-par 69 to seal victory at the star-studded World Golf Championships event in Florida ahead of Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel on Sunday.

Morikawa holed four birdies and just one bogey to finish 18 under for his fourth PGA Tour crown – the most by any player currently aged under 25.

He also joins Tiger Woods as the only player to win a major championship and WGC event before turning 25.

Further to that feat, Morikawa is the seventh player to claim four or more PGA Tour tournaments – including a major – under the age of 25, following in the footsteps of Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jerry Pate.

The overnight leader by two strokes, Morikawa recovered from a slow start after bogeying his second hole of the final round – the 24-year-old American birdieing three of five holes before the turn as he ended the day without dropping another shot.

Norwegian star Hovland mounted a serious title charge following a five-under par 67, but he was unable to stop Morikawa.

Hovland finished tied for second alongside four-time major champion Koepka (70) and Horschel (70) at The Concession Golf Club.

McIlroy's final-round 71 saw the former world number one and four-time major winner slip down into a tie for sixth, six strokes adrift of Morikawa.

Defending champion Patrick Reed (72) ended the co-sanctioned PGA and European Tour tournament a shot further back.

Justin Thomas (71) earned a share of 15th at eight under, a stroke better off than U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (69).

It was a forgettable finish for world number one Dustin Johnson, who closed proceedings with a six-over-par 78.

The two-time tournament winner plummeted 12 positions to T54 at five over the card.

Collin Morikawa's hot putting saw him soar into a two-stroke lead following the third round of the WGC-Workday Championship.

Morikawa went on a birdie blitz, recording seven across an eight-hole stretch and eight in total to surge to the top of the leaderboard at The Concession Golf Club on Saturday.

Despite birdieing his penultimate hole, American golfer Morikawa leads the field at 15 under through 54 holes in Florida, where the star-studded World Golf Championships are taking place.

A three-time PGA Tour champion and winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, Morikawa leads by two shots after three for the second time on Tour – the 2019 3M Open.

Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel (69) are Morikawa's nearest challengers heading into Sunday's final round.

Koepka carried a one-stroke advantage into the penultimate round, but the four-time major champion saw his lead evaporate following a two-under-par 70.

The American star bogeyed his opening two holes before recovering with four birdies, including a flawless back nine.

Webb Simpson (69) is 12 under, while four-time major winner Rory McIlroy catapulted himself into contention thanks to a six-under-par 66.

McIlroy improved eight positions, moving into a tie for fifth – four shots behind Morikawa – courtesy of an eagle and seven birdies, which outweighed his bogey and double bogey.

Defending champion Patrick Reed is also 11 under alongside McIlroy after his third-round 69.

Hideki Matsuyama (68) – tied for seventh at 10 under – has not recorded a three-putt through 54 holes at the tournament and he extended his tour-leading streak without a three-putt to 221 consecutive holes.

World number one and two-time champion Dustin Johnson recorded back-to-back 69s to move into a tie for 42nd – 16 strokes off the lead.

Brooks Koepka fired a six-under 66 to grab a one-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the WGC-Workday Championship.

The four-time major champion made seven birdies and one bogey at The Concession Golf Club in Florida on Friday to move into 11 under.

Koepka holds a 36-hole lead or co-lead on the PGA Tour for the eighth time in his career as he eyes a second World Golf Championships title.

The American made three straight birdies from the 15th before dropping his only shot of the round at the last.

Koepka is a stroke clear of Collin Morikawa (64), Billy Horschel (67) and Australian Cameron Smith (66).

Morikawa, last year's US PGA Championship winner, produced the equal best round of the day, with Bryson DeChambeau – who is tied for 20th – also shooting a 64.

Overnight leaders Webb Simpson and Matt Fitzpatrick both slipped back into a tie for fifth after firing 69s, sitting at nine under alongside Tony Finau (67).

Defending champion Patrick Reed carded another 68 to be at eight under alongside Kevin Kisner (69).

Rory McIlroy shot a two-under 70 to get to five under and into a tie for 13th, with Justin Thomas (66) also among that group.

A six-time WGC winner, Dustin Johnson improved on his opening-round 77, carding a 69 that sees him sitting at two over.

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