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June 19 2011

12:04 AM

McIlroy opens eight-stroke bulge

BETHESDA, Md. – Two months ago, Rory McIlroy squandered a four-shot lead in the final round of the Masters.

McIlroy On Sunday, the Northern Irishman will have an advantage twice as big as he heads to the final 18 holes of the U.S. Open and tries again to win his first major championship.

McIlroy fired a 68 on Saturday at Congressional to move to 14 under par – a number never before reached at a U.S. Open. He’s eight strokes ahead of 2009 PGA champ Y.E. Yang and nine up on Jason Day and Lee Westwood, who matched the day’s low rounds of 65.

His lead isn’t the largest ever in a major, though – Tiger Woods and Henry Cotton own that distinction at the 2000 U.S. Open and 1934 British Open, respectively. But McIlroy has been nearly flawless this week with the only blemishes in 54 holes one bogey and one double bogey.

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