McIlroy says three hour PIF negotiations call was “really positive”

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy’s chances of winning The Memorial Tournament for the first time are all but over after he carded a one-over 73 to fall eight shots off the pace heading into the final day.

McIlroy is in a share of eleventh place on two-under-par and while he is just four shots off second place, he has too much ground to make up on world number one Scottie Scheffler who managed to pull four shots clear of the field despite a triple bogey on the ninth.

“Just sort of trying to hang in there, just sort of like the last couple of days as well,” said McIlroy.

“The course is obviously playing really tough. The scores suggest that. It’s very hard to shoot — it’s hard to get it going, hard to shoot anything in the 60s, really. There’s a couple of 68s out there, which were really good scores. But, yeah, I just tried to hang in there and battle and tried to keep it around par, which I sort of did.”

On Friday McIlroy dialled in to a three hour online meeting between the PGA Tour and PIF with the PGA Tour reporting that talks over a merger agreement “continue to accelerate.”

An initial “framework agreement” between the PIF – which bankrolls the breakaway LIV Golf league – the PGA Tour and DP World Tour was announced on June 6 last year and had a deadline of December 31, but one year later there is still no deal.

“Yeah, very productive, very constructive, very collaborative. I think those are probably three words I would use to describe it. Yeah, it was really good. Definitely things are heading in the right direction. A lot of progress was made. I can’t really say much more than that, but it was really positive,” said McIlroy who chuckled that he voiced his opinion despite previously saying he would keep quiet.

“I think a lot of progress had sort of been made. But, yeah, definitely encouraged, yeah.”

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry holed out twice for eagle during his round of 68 as he moved into the top-15 on one-under-par.

A rollercoaster round saw Lowry hole out on the opening hole from 194 yards with his second shot and he followed that up with birdies on the second, fourth and seventh before a double bogey on the par-3 8th.

The Clara man dropped a shot on the par-3 12th but produced more heroics from 119 yards on the par-4 14th for another eagle.

He closed out his day with a birdie on 15 and a bogey on 17.

Séamus Power is level par after a 73.



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