The Masters: everything Rory McIlroy said after carding 71 on third day at Augusta

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Ulsterman moves up leaderboard after carding his second under-par score of the week

Rory McIlroy carded a third-round one-under-par 71 on the third day of the Masters.

It moved the four-time major winner up the leaderboard, but not to the heights he had hoped as three birdies at holes two, five and 14 were accompanied by bogeys and one and six.

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McIlroy presented himself with chances to shoot lower - but on moving day it was his putter that let him down, with the Holywood man having a frustrating afternoon on the greens.

Here’s everything he said as he sits on three under for the tournament with one more round remaining.

Q. Are you happier today?

McIlroy: Yeah, 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.

It’s hard to get the ball close, and then you sort of just have to take your chances from 20, 25 feet.

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

Q. Did you feel like you got a little bit more momentum going today?

McIlroy: A little bit. 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.

Q. We saw you back on the range after your round last night. Is that still working on the technical things you're working on?

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McIlroy: I just needed to get some rhythm. It was so start/stop yesterday, and I didn't have any fluid in my golf swing because of that. I just wanted to go and try and find some rhythm last night.

I only hit 10, 15 minutes, but I definitely felt better as well. As the wind is coming down you start getting out of sync. It was better to make some normal golf swings and hit some normal shots. I definitely hit it a bit better today.

Q. When you played with Scottie Scheffler on those first two days and he's so unmoved by everything, so unflappable, is that difficult?

McIlroy: No, not really. If anything, it's good because, to have someone beside you that has a great attitude and sort of does everything the right way, it's nice to try to feed off that.

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Q. What you're working on with your irons, have you've seen progress this week to be ready as the summer rolls on with all these other big events coming up?

McIlroy: I think so. I made good progress last week in San Antonio, my strokes gained numbers and my approaches were good. I would say my approach numbers today were probably pretty good. So it's getting better. It's definitely better than what it was through the Florida swing.

Q. You said you were going to try to be patient. How much has this been a test of patience this week?

McIlroy: A lot. But it's this tournament and this golf course and especially these conditions. That's all you can be. You can't really do anything else. You've got to try to have as much acceptance as possible and try to keep hitting good shots and move on.

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Q. I think it's currently two-under on the par fives this week. How much frustration that you haven't been able to take advantage of those a bit more?

McIlroy: That's okay. The par fives have been playing difficult and into the wind. It's been hard to go for the greens in two because of the conditions. It's probably not quite what I would have wanted, but it's probably not too far off what everyone else is playing them in because they have been sort of difficult.

Q. What would a 15 handicap do around here?

McIlroy: It's hard because a 15 handicap usually doesn't get the ball in the air far enough for the wind to affect it, but they would have struggled.

Q. What are you hoping to finish off with tomorrow?

McIlroy: Just go out and finish on a positive note. Shoot a good round of golf and move on to Hilton Head next week in a good frame of mind, I guess.

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Q. What went into adding Hilton Head next week to your schedule? You weren't committed until yesterday?

McIlroy: I think I'm like 50th in the FedExCup. I need to get all the events under my belt as I can.

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