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Rory McIlroy dealing with sore back again

18 May, 2017, 01:48 | Author: Glenda Knight
  • Oosthuizen, Stanley share lead at Players Championship

McIlroy fared the better of the two, carding a one-under 71 to move to one under for the tournament.

He finished with a 73 and is now six shots behind leaders William McGirt and Mackenzie Hughes, who each finished with a five-under 67.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia recovered from a slow start and found his old form to storm into contention at The Players Championship where a victory could enhance his special 2017 season.

Garcia's week got off to a slow start when he battled to a one-over-par 73 on Thursday, which featured a hole-in-one on the island green par-3 17th hole.

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

JB Holmes was two shots off the lead after dropping shots on his last two holes, with Singh another stroke back after a three-putt bogey on the 18th was the only blemish in a 68.

"My back has got a little bit stiff again, I guess just from obviously building it up and playing through and then not doing anything for three weeks and then coming back last weekend and hitting balls for four or five hours a day", he said, per the Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard.

"I hit a couple of tee shots practising on Monday and just didn't feel right and I've been getting treatment on it", McIlroy told Sky Sports.

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Oosthuizen added a flawless 66 to his opening 69 and has carded just one bogey in 36 holes, while Stanley also shot 66 with eight birdies and two bogeys.

"Hopefully the guys in the lead don't finish more than they did yesterday, somewhere around nine under would be nice so we're three or four shots behind and we'll need a good round, but we'll have a chance".

England's Ian Poulter was a shot further back as he looked to capitalise on retaining his PGA Tour card after fellow professional Brian Gay alerted officials to a discrepancy in the points structure used for players competing on major medical extensions.

He told reporters: "I've been struggling with it a bit this week, and I sort of felt it for the first time on Sunday".

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 United States dollars 347,634 (£269,755) to remain fully exempt.

The 29-year-old has a history of back problems and has missed the cut in four of his nine tournaments this season.

"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".

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