The Players: Rob Lee looks ahead to Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood contest


Rob Lee praises another strong performance for Tommy Fleetwood and looks forward to his weekend battle with Rory McIlroy.

What a performance from Tommy Fleetwood to post that score and then Rory McIlroy coming back at him to make sure they are part of the final group on Saturday. It could not be better for us for moving day.

Fleetwood played some wonderful golf and could have gone even lower after being four under par after three holes. We all thought 70 today would be a great score for him today after an excellent first day, but he bettered that by three shots after following it up with a 67.

He will be thrilled at the fact that he and McIlroy, representing the European Tour, will be going out in that final two-ball on Saturday. It could well be magical.

It all changed for McIlroy at the par-three eighth, where it looked like he did not like his tee shot but it just pitched inside the bunker on the left corner of the green and then ran around the slope to 10 feet.

He knocked it in and started the big run where he played some superb golf and made it look very easy. Let’s be honest, he has played well for weeks and we know he’s going to win again, but needs to get rid of his ‘Sundayitus’ as quickly as possible.

For him, that win needs to come soon because he wants to take a whole bunch of momentum to Augusta. The chance of ending the Sunday habit at the opening major of the year is almost impossible, so he needs a win before he gets there.

He has put himself in position yet again at the halfway stage and it will be interesting to see how he gets on with the changing conditions on Saturday. The wind direction changes for the weekend, the temperature drops 20 degrees and it’s going to offer a completely different test.

If it turns out to be a tough scoring day on Saturday, with cooler conditions and wind from a different direction, then the course will play very differently to what we have seen over the first two days.

Holes like 18 will not be downwind, some of the par-fives won’t be reachable in two, the par-three 17th will not be a flick of a wedge that we have seen so far this week.

It’s a very international leaderboard at the halfway stage, but it’s very pleasurable to see three European place up at the top. The whole field is in this right now.

Watch the Players Championship throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel – Sky Sports The Players.

(c) Sky News 2019: The Players: Rob Lee looks ahead to Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood contest

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