Rory McIlroy is tied for the Canadian Open lead and eyes a victory in his tournament debut

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Zach Johnson gives Golfweek/USA TODAY behind-the-scenes look at how sports psychologist Mo Pikens gets him mentally ready to compete at highest level.
USA TODAY

Making his first start at the RBC Canadian Open this week, Rory McIlroy is suddenly in position for his second victory of the season.

The reigning Players champion shot 6-under 64 in Saturday’s third round to move into a tie for the lead at 13 under alongside Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar.

McIlroy missed the cut at last week’s Memorial Tournament for his first early exit since the 2018 U.S. Open, something he said opened his eyes to a few weaknesses in the days leading up to next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

“I feel like I turned that missed cut into a positive,” McIlroy said. “Had a chance to work on (my weaknesses) and I needed to work on my wedge play, needed to work a little bit on my driver … they’ve started to come together and it’s why I’m at where I’m at on the leaderboard.”

McIlroy turned in his first bogey-free round since the Players Saturday at Hamilton Golf and Country Club while others atop the leaderboard failed to make much of a move.

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