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McIlroy Closes in on Schauffele at Wells Fargo Championship

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Rory McIlroy put on a strong showing on Saturday at Quail Hollow, narrowing the gap between himself and Xander Schauffele at the Wells Fargo Championship. Despite starting the day four shots behind Schauffele, McIlroy’s bogey-free round of 67 helped him close in on the leader.

Schauffele, who has been without a PGA Tour win for quite a while, maintained his lead after a gritty 70 to stay one stroke ahead of McIlroy at 12 under par. Sungjae Im and Sepp Straka are trailing the leading duo by four and five strokes respectively.

McIlroy and Schauffele will once again be in the final pairing on Sunday, setting the stage for an exciting showdown. This is the third time the two have found themselves in this position on the PGA Tour, with previous encounters at the 2018 BMW Championship and the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions.

While Schauffele struggled with eight visits to the sand traps, McIlroy’s excellent form, particularly off the tee with an average drive of 338 yards, kept the pressure on his competitor. The Irish golfer’s remarkable consistency, combined with his powerful drives, has put him in a favorable position heading into the final round.

In the midst of the competition, Sepp Straka has emerged as a surprise contender, showcasing a steady performance following a notable fifth-place finish at the RBC Heritage Classic. His resilience and improved play have positioned him well for a potential strong finish at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Jason Day, initially seen as a challenger, struggled during the third round but managed a late rally with three birdies in the closing holes. Despite the ups and downs of Saturday’s play, the stage is set for an enthralling conclusion at Quail Hollow on Sunday.

Rachel Adams

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