MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Rory McIlroy’s last trip to TPC Southwind didn’t end the way he would have liked.
The Northern Irishman was one stroke off the lead at the 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic when he stepped to the par-4 18th tee. Needing to make a birdie, he pulled 3-wood into the lake down the left side of the fairway. The mistake led to a closing double bogey and a T-7 finish.
He was reminded of that finish earlier this week and said it was a learning experience that would help if he found himself in a similar position this week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. There's a good chance that Sunday’s finish will come down to the 18th hole again for McIlroy.
Thanks to a week-low 62 on Saturday that included a 27-footer for birdie at the 18th hole, McIlroy moved into the lead at 12 under, one stroke clear of Brooks Koepka.
For three days McIlroy has played the final hole conservatively, hitting driver down the right side of the fairway during Rounds 1 and 2 and going with 3-wood on Saturday.
“Tomorrow, depending where I'm at in the tournament and where I find myself, it could be 5-wood down the right, it could be try to be more aggressive,” said McIlroy, who has played the 18th in 2 under this week. “Hopefully it certainly won't be the result that it was seven years ago.”