McIlroy encouraged by progress made with approach play

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

Feature Interviews

Latest Stories

Rory McIlroy is hoping to finish off his sixteenth Masters campaign with a low final round at Augusta National as he looks to ride some momentum for the RBC Heritage next week.

McIlroy was slightly more upbeat after a third round 71, which leaves him in a share of 25th place on three-over-par and he saw some positives signs with his approach play.

“I made good progress last week in San Antonio, my strokes gained numbers and approach were good. I thought my — I would say my strokes gained approach numbers today were probably pretty good.

“So it’s getting better. It’s definitely better than what it was through the Florida swing.

“Obviously conditions were a little easier than yesterday. Still tricky, though. Greens are firm. Some of the hole locations are really tough, especially some of the downwind holes with the pins at the front.

“Hard to get the ball close, and then you sort of just have to take your chances from 20, 25 feet.

“But definitely hit the ball better today, gave myself a lot of looks. Missed a few, but shooting something under par was a decent effort.”

Teeing off ten shots off the pace at the halfway stage, an opening bogey put paid to his already faint hopes but he did recover with three birdies on the 2nd, 8th and 14th after a bogey on the 6th.

“It was hard to get any momentum yesterday just because of the conditions. So, yeah, it was nice to see — I think I made three birdies today compared to zero yesterday. So nice to see some red numbers on the card.

“Yeah, it was a little better.”

One of the highlights of the round was a staggering 387-yard drive on the 9th which went bounding towards the walkway where the patrons were crossing.

“I hit it way further left than I thought I was going to. I thought I was going to catch these trees over here. It was so far downwind that I covered there.

“Yeah, I certainly didn’t expect the ball to be down there whenever I — I was looking somewhere in the left pinestraw. Just sort of shows the strength of the wind.”

At the time of writing, McIlroy is ten shots off the lead, meaning his tenth attempt at completing the career grand slam will come up well short.

“I mean, all I can do is come here and try my best. That’s what I do every time I show up. Some years it’s better than others. I’ve just got to keep showing up and try to do the right thing.”


Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.