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Recap: McIlroy sets course record at Wells Fargo Championship

Rory McIlroy reminded the world who is ranked No. 1 during the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship, as he posted an 11-under 61 en route to taking a four-shot lead at Quail Hollow Club.

The bogey-free round broke McIlroy’s own record, as he birdied five straight from No. 12 to 16.

Webb Simpson carded a 4-under 68, reaching 14 under. He enters Sunday’s final round as the only player in McIlroy’s neighborhood, as Robert Streb is in solo third at 11 under.

See how it all unfolds at Quail Hollow, and be sure to scroll down to see complete coverage from earlier in the week:

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Update No. 25: 5:49 p.m. EDT

After hitting his tee ball into a water hazard, Webb Simpson was able to make bogey at 18 to cap a round of 68. Simpson is the closest player to Rory McIlroy, four shots back at 14 under. Robert Streb finished his day with a par, holding strong at 11 under.

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Update No. 24: 5:26 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy makes par after two-putting from the fringe, carding a course-record 11-under 61 at Quail Hollow Club. McIlroy will head into the final round at 18 under.

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Update No. 23: 5:20 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson undid much of his progress at the 18th, making a triple bogey to cap a 1-under 71. Mickelson found water off the tee and struggled around the green, hitting through the green from a greenside bunker. He sits at 8 under through 54 holes.

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Update No. 22: 5:12 p.m. EDT

Webb Simpson makes it within three shots of Rory McIlroy’s lead, hitting a 20-footer for eagle at the 15th. He’s 5 under today.

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Update No. 21: 5:10 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy ended his birdie streak at the 17th, just making it onto the green and leaving himself 40 feet for birdie. McIlroy two-putted for par, heading to the 18th needing a par to break his course record of 10-under 62.

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Update No. 20: 5:02 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy rolled in a 14-footer for his fifth straight birdie and 11th of the round, reaching 18 under. He hit a 356-yard drive to set up the birdie and became the first player in tournament history to make 11 birdies in a round.

McIlroy heads to 17, where he made a double bogey Friday after hitting the water.

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Update No. 19: 4:53 p.m. EDT

Webb Simpson is unable to capitalize at the 14th, three-putting for par as he sits four shots behind Rory McIlroy, who is at 17 under.

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Update No. 18: 4:48 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy let a fist pump loose after dropping a 10-footer for his fourth straight birdie at the 15th. At 10 under on the day, McIlroy is eyeing the course record.

Webb Simpson dropped a 10-footer for birdie at the 13th and proceeded to hit the green on his tee shot at the par-4 14th, setting up a long look at eagle.

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Update No. 17: 4:25 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson took advantage of the short par-4 14th, putting a wedge to 2 feet and tapping in for birdie to reach 11 under, but he wasn’t able to gain any ground on the World No. 1.

Rory McIlroy, in the group behind Mickelson, planted a 3-wood onto the green, setting up a 50-foot putt for eagle. He two-putted for birdie, reaching 16 under and extending his lead.

The birdie was McIlroy’s third straight as he heads to the par-5 15th.

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Update No. 16: 4:12 p.m. EDT

The birdies keep coming and the lead keeps growing for Rory McIlroy, who just stuck his tee ball to about 8 feet at the par-3 13th and made the birdie putt to reach 15 under.

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Update No. 15: 4 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy is on fire today. After finding the right pine straw at the par-4 12th, McIlroy hits his approach to 5 feet and makes birdie, his seventh of the day, to move to 14 under. He leads by two shots.

Here’s a look at the approach shot:

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Update No. 14: 3:35 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy has to lay up at the par-5 10th? No problem. McIlroy sinks a 15-footer for birdie to take sole possession of the lead at 13 under.

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Update No. 13: 3:19 p.m. EDT

Webb Simpson can’t get away from Rory McIlroy. After taking a free drop from the right rough at the par-4 ninth, McIlroy hits his approach to inside of 10 feet and birdies to join Simpson at 12 under. McIlroy shot 5-under 31 on the front nine today.

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Update No. 12: 3:14 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson joins Rory McIlroy at 11 under after a birdie at the par-4 ninth. Mickelson turns in 4-under 32 and is a shot back of leader Webb Simpson, who nearly put his drive in the water before making birdie at the par-5 seventh to climb to 12 under.

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Update No. 11: 3:08 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy’s drive at the short par-4 eighth nearly holds the green. McIlroy then chips close and makes birdie to join Webb Simpson at 11 under.

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Update No. 10: 2:59 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson’s drive at the short par-4 eighth is well left. However, Lefty recovers, hitting his second shot to about 8 feet and making the birdie putt to reach 10 under.

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Update No. 9: 2:50 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy makes a 6-footer for birdie at the par-5 seventh to move to 10 under. The World No. 1 has three birdies today, including two on the par 5s.

Here’s a look at his near-eagle on the fifth hole:

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Update No. 8: 2:42 p.m. EDT

Justin Thomas bogeys his closing hole, the par-4 18th, to card a 7-under 65 and finish 54 holes at 9 under. He’s now two back of Webb Simpson and a shot behind second-place Robert Streb.

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Update No. 7: 2:24 p.m. EDT

Just like Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy finds greenside sand in two at the par-5 fifth before making birdie to climb to 9 under.

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Update No. 6: 2:15 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson splashes out of a greenside bunker at the par-5 fifth with his third shot, and then makes a 10-footer for birdie to move to 9 under.

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Update No. 5: 2:13 p.m. EDT

Rory McIlroy is 1 under through four holes today, and 8 under overall. He has one birdie, at the par-4 third, where he hit his approach inside of 10 feet and made the putt.

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Update No. 4: 2:07 p.m. EDT

Justin Thomas is now tied with Webb Simpson for the lead at 10 under after a birdie at the par-5 15th. Thomas, who is 8 under on his round today, stuck a wedge inside 5 feet at the 15th and made the putt.

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Update No. 3: 1:32 p.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson opens his third round with par, then makes a 25-footer for birdie at the par-3 second. Lefty is now 8 under overall and two shots back of the lead.

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Update No. 2: 1:22 p.m. EDT

After a bogey at the par-4 11th, Justin Thomas responds by hitting his approach at the par-4 12th to 8 feet and makes birdie to get back to 9 under.

• • •

Update No. 1: 1:01 p.m. EDT

Justin Thomas was eight shots off the lead when he teed off this morning at Quail Hollow. Three birdies and two eagles later, Thomas is on the 11th hole just a shot out of first. He’s 7 under through 10 holes today and 9 under overall.

• • •

Friday

Rory McIlroy gains steam at Wells Fargo Championship

Rory McIlroy is feeling good about his game at the Wells Fargo Championship, and he’s in position to make a weekend move.

Rodgers seeks spot among young Tour stars at Wells Fargo

Patrick Rodgers made some noise on Friday, reaching 8 under and taking the lead at the Wells Fargo for a period of time.

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Thursday

Charlotte’s own Simpson in the hunt at Wells Fargo Championship

Webb Simpson gave his hometown crowd something to cheer about Thursday at the Wells Fargo.

T.J. Howe soaks in first Tour round at Wells Fargo Championship

A dominant force on the mini-tour circuit in North Carolina, T.J. Howe had the chance to stack his game against PGA Tour pros on Thursday at Quail Hollow.

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Preview

Defending Wells Fargo Championship champion J.B. Holmes is one of many who are feeling a bit tired this week at Quail Hollow Club, coming off back-to-back weeks on both U.S. coasts. Story by Jeff Babineau

Tom Gillis returns to action this week at the Wells Fargo Championship, finally past surgery he had in November to remove bone spurs in his left shoulder. Story by Jeff Babineau

DraftKings PGA Tour Fantasy Golf advice for Rory McIlroy and the rest of the field at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Fantasy Tip Sheet

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