‘I should go out and shoot 64 and see where that leaves me’: Rory McIlroy happy with progress from third round 66 at CJ Cup as he looks for form for the Masters
- McIlroy hit a six-under-66 and advanced to seven shots at leader Russell Henley
- It was a great round for McIlroy, who was 12 shots off the lead on Friday
- It was a disappointing day for Tyrrell Hatton who dropped from second place
Rory McIlroy is happy to see signs of progress as he strives to get back in his best shape before the Masters.
He fired an excellent six-under-66 on Saturday and moved eight-under on the third day of the CJ Cup in Las Vegas.
McIlroy has yet to record a global win in 2020, with the world’s number four looking for a strong finish of the week to put pressure on those at the top of the leaderboard and take a late challenge for a 19th PGA Tour title.
Rory McIlroy shot an excellent six-under-66 on Saturday to close the gap to the top of the standings
McIlroy was 12 shots below pace after two rounds, but narrowed the gap to just seven
His performance on Saturday put him in the top ten and seven strokes behind the leader on 54 holes, Russell Henley.
As reported by Sky SportsMcIlroy said after his performance, “I think after the three weeks off from the US Open and coming home and recharging, I saw this as a six-week run up to Augusta,” McIlroy said. ‘I try to work hard.
‘I’m trying to do the right things, working hard on my game, working hard on what I need, not just for these weeks, but of course looking ahead to Augusta.
‘That gives energy, right? Something to build towards and that’s what I’m trying to do.
“For the past two weeks, with every swing I’ve made, with every ball I’ve hit, there have been at least two or three swing thoughts. Yesterday was a little better and today I hit the ball quite well again, especially off the tee. That was a big plus.
‘I did complain a little about my riding style and about the tee, but this week was really good. So if I can just keep seeing progress there until tomorrow, it would be great to shoot another low and get myself up there. But I feel like I’ve made some good progress in my game. ‘
When asked if he can take the trophy, he added, ‘There’s not much divorce so I’d have to go out and maybe shoot 64 tomorrow to see where that leaves me.
McIlroy hopes to find late form for the Masters after failing to win in 2020
‘But it was a good round today, I played better. I did what I wanted to do and that’s all I can ask for. “
Meanwhile, Englishman Tyrrell Hatton lost ground on day three in Las Vegas.
Hatton was three shots off the lead in second place on Friday-evening, but followed rounds of 65 and 68 with a one-over 73.
McIlroy, on the other hand, was 12 shots behind the pace after opening rounds of 73 and 69, before closing the gap with his six-under-66 and moving eight-under for the tournament.
Tyrrell Hatton hit a disappointing one-over-73 that fell back from what was second place
He birdies on the par-4 third and sixth holes, dropped a shot on the long seventh, then made six birdies against just one bogey by playing with his back nine in five, including birdies on his last three holes.
Henley was an unspectacular model of consistency in building his lead as he hit five birdies and had a bogey-free lap.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick shot an even par 72 to seven under, while Ian Poulter shot 73 for four under and 11 from the lead and Justin Rose, whose 68 got him down two.