MASTERS GOLF: Rory McIlroy is not throwing towel in on Masters chances
Rory McIlroy believes he still has a chance to win the Masters and complete the career grand slam after Jordan Spieth's late stumble threw the tournament wide open.
Spieth held a four-shot lead with two holes to play and was eight clear of playing partner McIlroy, who struggled to a 77 and failed to record a single birdie for the first time in 81 major championship rounds.
However, the defending champion then bogeyed the 17th and ran up a double bogey on the last to finish just a shot ahead of compatriot Smylie Kaufman, with McIlroy another four shots behind.
“I couldn’t get anything going really,” McIlroy said. “It felt more like a US Open than a Masters today. I am disappointed. I felt like I righted the ship a little on the back nine but couldn’t take the few opportunities I gave myself.
“If I am to take heart from anything then it’s the fact Jordan has just let a lot of people in after his finish. But I need to get off to a fast start tomorrow. The forecast is for better conditions and we know stranger things have happened, but I need to play a lot better than I played today.
Phillip McCallen optimistic Ulster Grand Prix will return in 2023 as talks resume with Tourism NI
Fast uphill section of Ulster Grand Prix course at Dundrod named 'Ray's Rise' in honour of legendary Dromara Destroyer Raymond McCullough
Manx Grand Prix: Michael Dunlop gears up for Classic Superbike victory bid on new Team Classic Suzuki GSX-R750
Ards edge closer to new home after land lease deal
‘Remember the sabbath day...’: Northern Ireland’s biggest Protestant church voices worries over Sunday football as Linfield gets ready to clash with Portadown
“I think it’s winnable from here. If Jordan hadn’t had that finish then I would probably say no, but he finished that way and the guys on two and three over like myself feel like we have a chance now. I just have to make sure that I get off to a fast start and put some red numbers on the board and make a bit of noise to put a bit of pressure on the guys playing behind me.
“I need to be more aggressive. I played very tentatively today right from the get-go. I hit it in the bunker on two and that was the way of it. I didn’t birdie any of the holes I had been doing for the first two days, I didn’t take advantage of the par fives.
“I made a couple of big numbers and had no red on the card and that is never going to bode well. I was trying so hard on that last putt to just make one birdie today but it wasn’t to be.
“I’m only five back and I can’t believe I am standing here saying that because I was eight behind standing on the 17th tee. I need to regroup and stay positive and go out and attack tomorrow.”