AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rory McIlroy will begin Sunday at the Masters six shots off the lead. What will it take for McIlroy to complete the career Grand Slam this year at Augusta National?
“I need to play the round of my life tomorrow,” McIlroy said after a 1-under 71 Saturday that moved him back to even par for the tournament.
It could’ve been much better. McIlroy said he could’ve shot “67 or 68, but just a few too many wasted opportunities.”
Like a mis-club at the par-4 fifth hole that killed his momentum after birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. McIlroy had an 8-iron in his hand, but then he switched to a 9-iron and left his approach shot way short, resulting in a three-putt bogey.
Or the bad break off the tee at the par-4 seventh. McIlroy’s ball took a bad bounce right and into the trees, and then he made matters worse by getting “cute” with his greenside-bunker shot. Another three-putt gave him a double bogey there.
McIlroy did turn things around with a bogey-free back nine, but he also carded just one birdie, at the par-3 12th, coming in. And now he has a lot of work to do Sunday.
McIlroy’s best score at Augusta National is the 65 his fired in the first round in 2011.
“I’m going to need something like that, if not lower, to have a chance,” McIlroy said.