McIlroy needs 'round of his life' at Masters

Trevor Jackson
April 10, 2017

"I think I probably could have shot a 67 or 68 but there were just a few too many wasted opportunities".

World number two Rory McIlroy was battling to remain in contention for a historic victory in the Masters during a rollercoaster third round at Augusta National.

The 27-year-old Northern Irishman will start the final round on Sunday six strokes behind the leaders, his European Ryder Cup team mates Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia.

He said: "I need to play the round of my life. She was trying to pick me up and give me a good boost, which she did, and today was a good round to get myself kind of back to good form".

Fowler finished in the top five in all four majors in 2014 but was sharing an overnight lead in one for the first time, while Hoffman was ninth at Augusta in 2015 after lying second at halfway.

Two birdies in the opening three holes took McIlroy to within three of the lead but his failure to capitalise on his magnificent driving cost him dearly.

McIlroy moved to level par with a birdie at the par-three 12th, still six off the pace. "The course is getting pretty hard out there, not with regards to the actual shots into the greens, but more so once you get on the greens".

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"I had a great chance on 11 and 14". You still have to play smart when you have to. But it's one of these courses where you get a bit too aggressive, miss it on the wrong side and you end up not with birdie but with bogey and that gets frustrating.

"The mental side is huge".

"I feel like I play as aggressive as anyone round here. It's heightened even more, just because you can hear what's going on around you", McIlroy said about the roars and groans of Augusta's massive galleries. I felt as comfortable on the greens here as I ever had, even though I had a couple of three-putts.

"The leaderboard changes and everyone reacts to that, so you have to focus on yourself and block it out".

All four players were seeking a first major title and knew the importance of staying close to the lead, with every Masters champion since 1990 being inside the top five after 54 holes.

Adam Scott, the 2013 champion lies in seventh on three under following a 69 with 2011 victor Charl Schwartzel eighth on two under thanks to a third-round 68, one ahead of European Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Thomas Pieters.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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