McIlroy fires 69 in third round of The Players

Rory McIlroy during Saturday's third round of the PGA Tour's 2014 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Rory McIlroy during Saturday's third round of the PGA Tour's 2014 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. ( Getty Images )

Saturday, May 10, 2014

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.”