Dublin: 9°C Sunday 25 July 2021

Another roller-coaster round from Rory on day 3 of the Players Championship

The Northern Irish golfer endured another mixed bag at TPC Sawgrass.

Rory McIlroy had an up-and-down round at TPC today.
Rory McIlroy had an up-and-down round at TPC today.
Image: Lynne Sladky/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 2300

IF RORY MCILROY could learn to tame the opening nine holes at Sawgrass, he would comfortably be adding champion of golf’s unofficial fifth major to his CV on Sunday evening.

After just making the cut on Friday, the Northern Irishman returned on Saturday to post a third round 69 – his lowest score of the week.

That means McIlroy has taken 117 strokes on the front nine this week.

Having made the cut last night with a clutch putt on the 18th, the former world number one would have gone into today’s play full of confidence. However, at four over after six holes – including a double bogey on the fourth – it must have all but disappeared.

“If I had just kept it around even par for the front nine, I’d be up near the leaders,” he said afterwards.

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“I’m really happy with how I’ve been able to come back the last couple of days but it’s also a little frustrating that I’ve had to come back because I feel like I’m playing good enough to not have these little stretches of bad holes.

“I felt like I wasn’t playing as badly as the score was suggesting today. I’d hit five greens in seven holes and I was four over par.

“I hadn’t really done much wrong. I had three really big lip-outs on the front nine also.”

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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