"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 is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x