McIlroy fires 69 in third round of The Players

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rory McIlroy birdied his final three holes Saturday to shoot a 3-under 69 in the third round of The Players.

McIlroy, out early in the day’s second group at 8:05 a.m, continued his front-nine struggles, making a double bogey on six and turning in 2-over 38. For the week he is 9-over on the front and 12-under on the back.

“If I had just kept it around even par for the front nine,” he said, “I’d be right up there.”

McIlroy rallied on the back side, playing bogey-free and carding five birdies. He canned an 11-footer at No. 10, birdied the par-5 11th and 16th from short range, drained a 30-footer on 17, and stiffed it to 2 feet at 18.

“Maybe tomorrow I can put it all together and start strongly like I have the last few days,” said McIlroy, who finished at 3-under-par and a 54-hole total of 213.

McIlroy also provided a scouting report on what the rest of the day at TPC Sawgrass may hold:

“The greens are still pretty receptive but the greens are quicker. They’re much faster. I’d say they’re at least two or three feet quicker today than they were yesterday. I stepped up on the first green today and hit my first putt eight feet by. Needed to adjust quickly to that, so that’s going to make it a little different, a little trickier for the guys today, especially with how hard the wind is blowing already.”

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