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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 19 June, 2018

McIlroy's patience rewarded but work still to be done to secure Open title

The former world number one is six shots clear of the field.

Rory McIlroy is not taking anything for granted.
Rory McIlroy is not taking anything for granted.
Image: EMPICS Sport

RORY MCILROY IS taking nothing for granted.

He knows full well how dangerous it is to assume that a big third round lead is a guarantee of Sunday success.

And he only has to look to Wentworth in May when he trailed Thomas Bjorn by seven shots entering the final round only to end the day with his first tournament win of the year.

“I noticed coming off the 11th tee at Wentworth that Thomas (Bjorn) and Luke (Donald) had made 7s on the 6th hole. So I knew that it was my opportunity,” he said.

“This was my chance to make a few birdies. And there were some birdie opportunities coming up for me, par-4 11th, par-5 12.

“And I knew that I could make up some ground on them and maybe put a bit of pressure on them.

“Yeah, I’ll try and avoid the big numbers tomorrow, like what they did at Wentworth. Just try and keep it nice and tight, and play another good solid round of golf.”

Speaking to the European Tour website after his third round today, McIlroy felt the reason he was able to build such a commanding lead was having the patience to overcome missed opportunities early in his round.

“I feel like today my patience was rewarded. I didn’t get off to the best of starts again, and had a few chances around the turn to maybe make birdies, and I wasn’t able to do that and then dropped a shot.

Golf - The Open Championship 2014 - Day Three - Royal Liverpool Golf Club McIlroy celebrates on the 13th green. Source: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

“But then I made a big par save on 13 and then to make that birdie putt on 14 was a bonus.

“And then obviously the finish speaks for itself. I was just sort of waiting for those two holes.

“I felt like I was driving the ball well, and if I could drive it on the fairway on 16 and 18, I knew that I would have irons into the greens for my second shots.

“And to be able to make two threes there coming in was very important, and obviously sets me up nicely for tomorrow.”

Additional reporting from AFP.

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Steve O'Rourke

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