Rory McIlroy three behind lead despite muscle spasms leading into tournament

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McIlroy said he is ‘over the moon’ to be placed where he is.
Posted on
August 25, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Rory McIlroy is three strokes behind the leaders at the TOUR Championship after he said he suffered muscle spasms going into the tournament as he tries to win his fourth FedEx Cup title.

McIlroy is the only three-time winner of the FedEx Cup after overturning a six-shot deficit in the final round of the same tournament last year.

He said he is “over the moon” to be placed where he is considering the spasms.

Tour Championship Golf
Rory McIlroy

“I was at the bottom of a squat, a body-weight squat, and my whole lower back spasmed, seized up. I couldn’t move. I honestly couldn’t address the ball this time yesterday,” McIlroy said.

“So, yeah, I mean, I hung in there and I just felt like if I could get through today, it’s better than it was yesterday, hopefully tomorrow’s better than it was today, and just sort of try to keep progressing.”

McIlroy is sitting on seven under par in tied seventh after he finished the day with the same score as he started with, hitting four birdies and just as many bogeys.

“So I was always going to tee off. It was just a matter of how I felt on the course,” McIlroy said.

“And it got progressively a little tighter as I went, but it will hopefully get loosened up here and just another 20, or 18 hours of recovery and go again.


There is a three-way tie for the lead between Collin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley and Viktor Hovland on 10 under par.

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick is even with McIlroy in seventh spot while Tyrell Hatton is one stroke behind the pair.

FedExCup leader Scottie Scheffler carded a 1-over 71, one of seven over-par first rounds, and becomes the first No. 1 seed to not hold at least a share of the first-round lead since FedExCup Starting Strokes was implemented in 2019.

Tour Championship Golf
Viktor Hovland smiles before putting on the first green during the first round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club (Alex Slitz/ AP)


Pos.PlayerTo ParRoundR1
T1Collin Morikawa-10-961
T1Keegan Bradley-10-763
T1Viktor Hovland-10-268
4Scottie Scheffler-9171
T5Adam Schenk-8-763
T5Russell Henley-8-565
T7Matt Fitzpatrick-7-367
T7Rory McIlroy-7E70
T7Jon Rahm-7-169
T10Tyrrell Hatton-6-664
T10Xander Schauffele-6-367
T10Wyndham Clark-6-268
T10Brian Harman-6-268
T14Tom Kim-5-367
T14Rickie Fowler-5-268
T14Patrick Cantlay-5-169
T17Sepp Straka-4-466
T17Jason Day-4-367
T17Sam Burns-4-466
T17Max Homa-4E70
21Lucas Glover-3272
T22Corey Conners-2E70
T22Si Woo Kim-2E70
T22Tony Finau-2E70
T22Tommy Fleetwood-2171
T26Jordan Spieth-1-169
T26Sungjae Im-1171
T28Taylor MoorePar171
T28Nick TaylorPar171
30Emiliano Grillo+3373
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