McIlroy admits he could need a 65 to win as Lowry looks to emulate Thomas

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will both need low rounds today if they are to pip Brooks Koepka and co to the post and win the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

McIlroy and Lowry are five and seven shots adrift of Koepka respectively heading into the final round but neither are giving up hope of lifting the Wanamaker Trophy later.

Back-to-back rounds of 69 have given McIlroy hope of arresting his nine-year major duck as he battled hard to move into position on five-under-par and with a soft golf course expected on Sunday after a deluge of Saturday rain he knows he will need to find his A game and perhaps a 65 to have a realistic chance of claiming a fifth major.


“Like if I look at today, I made enough birdies to shoot a score like that,” said McIlroy who carded five birdies on Saturday but four bogeys including three in four holes before the turn.

“I just needed to keep those mistakes off the card. I need to keep hope. I have to believe that there is a score like that out there because looking at the board, it’s probably a score I’m going to have to shoot something like that to have a chance to win.”

Twelve months ago Justin Thomas came from seven shots behind Mito Pereira to win at Southern Hills last year. In fact, the gap was eight after Thomas bogeyed his 55th hole in the final round.

Lowry chipped in on 18 for what could prove to be a massive par and his beaming smile and gutsy fist pump showed that he hasn’t given up hope of winning his second major title.

“Look at Justin Thomas last year,” Lowry said, recalling how the American rallied and burst from the pack to win.

“I always say about Majors, you just need to hang around. Just hang around. Make yourself a nuisance to somebody. Hang around, and hopefully, you’ll get to do something tomorrow afternoon.”


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