McIlroy’s hopes of breaking his duck fade at Korea Open
First win of 2013 looks to have ended after a third round of 75
Rory McIlroy in action during the third round of the Kolon Korea Open in Chonan, South Korea. Photograph: Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images
World number six Rory McIlroy blew his chances of breaking his 2013 drought after a four-over third-round 75 left him 10 shots behind at the Kolon Korea Open.
The Northern Irishman began the day two off the pace in a share of fifth but after a frustrating front nine in which he missed a number of chances he went backwards quickly after the turn.
He went out in level par at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club course near Cheonan after his only birdie of the day – at the par-five fifth – was cancelled out by a bogey at the next.
A double-bogey six at the 10th were the first of four dropped shots in five holes as McIlroy, who has not won since changing his clubs at the start of the year, fell further behind as he finished the day one-over for the tournament.
Although overnight leader Hong Soon-sang could manage only a level-par 71, dropping him into second on five under, Kim Hyung-tae shot a 66, the joint-best round of the week, to take a four-shot cushion into the final day.
McIlroy has not given up hope of staging a miraculous recovery but was left to rue missed opportunities to strengthen his position on day three.
“Last time here (in 2011) I shot 64 in the last round so it would need something probably similar or a little better to have a chance,” said McIlroy.
“A frustrating day because I was in contention after two days and if you shoot a solid score today you’re right in there.
“I’ve just got to go out there tomorrow and shoot the best score that I can.
“I just think the story of the day is that I missed a lot of putts, missed a lot of chances for birdies at the start of the round and then missed a few short ones for pars in the middle and end of the round. That’s really what it was.
“It’s a struggle, especially where they’ve put some of the pin positions. It’s tough to get yourself to commit to a certain line because you’ll hit a few and they’ll go through the break, and some turn more than others.
“It’s just tough to commit to the line you choose. I wanted to come here and play; it’s nothing about trying to build confidence or anything like that.
“I guess more than anything else I wanted to shake the rust off this week and try and get into contention – and obviously try to win.”