Rory McIlroy stumbles in Round 3 at BMW PGA, still tied for lead

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Rory McIlroy stumbles in Round 3 at BMW PGA, still tied for lead

Euro Tour

Rory McIlroy stumbles in Round 3 at BMW PGA, still tied for lead

VIRGINIA WATER, England – Just when you thought Rory McIlroy had golf all figured out, he produces a round that throws up more questions than answers.

McIlory is still in contention to win his second BMW PGA Championship, but he’s not as safe a bet to win the $7 million tournament as he was after 36 holes. The former world number returned a third round 1-under-par 71 and sits at 13 under par alongside Francesco Molinari. They lead by four shots. 

McIlroy went from peerless in Round 2 to sometimes powerless in Round 3. He followed a near-flawless 65 by hitting shots that were very un-McIlroy like. Signs the 29-year-old wasn’t on his game came early in the round when he bogeyed the par-4 third hole after pushing his drive right. 

He lost another drive to the right at the sixth en route to a double bogey. He managed to rally over the next 12 holes, thanks mostly to consecutive birdies at the par-5, 17th and 18th holes. 

“I had a couple of loose tee shots on the third and sixth hole and they resulted in dropped shots, but after that I gave myself a target if I could get to even par playing the last couple of holes that would be a pretty good effort,” he said. 

“My upper body any time I want to hit it hard outraces my lower body and my chest opens up and I can get the two-way miss. It either goes left or right. Today they were mostly going right.” 

While McIlroy left the 18th green to try to find his swing, Molinari has no worries in that department. The Italian returned a bogey free 6-under-par 66. He’s due to win the BMW PGA. He’s had six top 10s in his last seven starts, including second last year. 

“It’ll be a battle tomorrow,” the four-time European Tour winner said. “Nothing will come easy.”

McIlroy will hope it’s not too much of a battle, certainly nothing like the fight he had to find his swing in round three. 

It’s clear Rory’s swing isn’t as fine-tuned as he’d like, which might not bode well for the final round and the rest of the season.

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