"It's Getting There" - McIlroy After Rollercoaster Open Third Round

It's going to be another season without a Major for McIlroy

"It's Getting There" - McIlroy After Rollercoaster Open Third Round

It's going to be another season without a Major for McIlroy, who says his game is "getting there" after linking up with coach Pete Cowen earlier in the year

"It's Getting There" - McIlroy After Rollercoaster Open Third Round

Rory McIlroy's third round at The Open was a rollercoaster of emotions, with the Northern Irishman delighting fans with a spectacular front nine.

The four-time Major winner and 2014 Champion Golfer of the Year was out in four-under-par after five birdies and a single dropped shot, showcasing vintage McIlroy golf on Saturday morning at Royal St George's.

Rory would then make a superb par on the 10th after finding thick rough off the tee and then a perilous greenside bunker, with his par being every bit as good as his five birdies on the front half.

McIlroy birdied two of his first four holes:

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A few more birdies on the back nine would have put him close to the leading pack heading into Sunday.

However, he would falter coming home with three dropped shots to sign for a 69 (-1), his best round of the week, to take him to one-under-par for the tournament.

It won't be enough to end his Major drought, which now stretches to seven full seasons.

"Sort of a tale of two nines. I played great on the front nine, hit some really good iron shots and converted some putts and really got it going," he told media after his third round.

"Then the back nine played tough. They're sort of tucking the pins away. They've stretched the golf course out to as long as it can play.

"I was hitting 2-iron into the 11th hole, that par-3, and I missed a short putt there for par and it kind of killed the momentum I had.

"Not birdieing the par-5 and making another couple bogeys on the way in, certainly it felt like a better round than 1-under par, but it was encouraging to see some of the golf that I played on that front nine.

"It's just a matter of trying to keep that going and try to turn those nine-hole stretches into 18-hole stretches, and then those 18-hole stretches into whole tournaments.

"It's getting there."

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV