May 4, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Rory McIlroy (NIR) looks over his lie on 7 as thunderstorms loom in the distance during the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – Rory McIlroy celebrated his 30th birthday with a three-under-par 68 in the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship on Saturday to move within two shots of the leaders at the weather-hit event in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A bogey by Max Homa (70) at the last left him tied at the top on 11-under 202 alongside fellow Americans Jason Dufner (71) and Joel Dahmen (70), while Pat Perez carded a 66 to move up to 10 under.
McIlroy, who could have had an even better day had his putting been dialed in, put together four birdies against a bogey to move to nine under as fans offered up birthday greetings on the stormy day.
Homa, a former U.S. collegiate champion seeking his first PGA Tour victory, led most of the day until he stumbled at the par-four 18th hole.
England’s Justin Rose (68) is in sixth spot on eight-under with compatriot Paul Casey (66) tied for seventh a shot further back.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford