McIlroy closes with back to back 68s to leave with hope

World number four admits ‘glimpses’ of good form are returning

Rory McIlroy played his third round at the BMW Championship in two hours and 35 minutes on his way to a 68. Photograph:   Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy played his third round at the BMW Championship in two hours and 35 minutes on his way to a 68. Photograph: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

 

Rory McIlroy continues to salvage a few gems from an awful season after he closed out the BMW Championship with his second straight 68 to finish the week at seven over.

It was the first time the two-time Major winner has put together back-to-back sub-70 rounds this season, although it was not enough to qualify him for the Tour Championship in Atlanta, the final event in the FedEx Cup.

McIlroy’s final round included a double bogey on the 10th, two shots he clawed back on the par-four 12th when he holed his approach from 165 yards for an eagle.

McIlroy sounded a positive note after Saturday’s 68, a round that took just two hours and 35 minutes alongside Charley Hoffman.

“It’s funny, you’re going out there with no real goal,” said the world number four. “You’re just trying to get in quick, you’re just trying to play fast and you end up shooting a decent score.

“So maybe it’s a case of I’m maybe just trying a bit too hard out there and not just letting it all sort of go.”

Though McIlroy produced what he described as “glimpses” of good form during the first two play-off events, he made a bad start to this week with opening scores of 78 and 77.

“I’m looking forward to getting my game back to where it was,” said the 24-year-old, who has not won a tournament since the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last November.

“I’m striking the ball well. That part of my game is totally fine. Just have to tighten it up around the greens and I’ll be okay.”

McIlroy, whose hopes of qualifying for next week’s event evaporated after his poor start at Conway Farms, was mainly happy with his form on Saturday.

“But I have to throw in a double bogey,” he laughed, having recorded a double in each of his three rounds this week. “A round isn’t complete without a double bogey these days.”

McIlroy, who hit a brilliant second shot from 202 yards to six feet at the par-five 18th, jested that he and Hoffman had been disappointed after initially aiming to complete the third round in two hours 30 minutes.

“We were looking for his ball on the fourth (hole) so he messed it up,” McIlroy said with a grin after the pair had finished five minutes over their target.