Rory McIlroy targeting top-10 finish in ‘tough’ Masters

Northern Irishman shot 71 on Saturday to improve to one over in difficult conditions

Rory McIlroy set his sights on a seventh top-10 finish in the Masters after carding his lowest score of the week at a chilly Augusta National.

McIlroy followed two rounds of 73 with a 71 on Saturday to improve to one over par, the four-time major winner recording four birdies and three bogeys in the cold and breezy conditions.

“I played well, it’s just hard to go very low out there,” the 32-year-old said.

“Anything under par is a good score. There’s no easy birdies. Even the par fives; usually they’re sort of, not guaranteed fours, but you feel like they’re holes that you would likely pick shots up on.

“The way the wind’s blowing, sometimes five is a good score and you just move on.

“It’s been a tough couple of days and I’ve just sort of hung in there as best as I could. It’s not really conditions favourable for going low and trying to get close to the leaders. So it’s just sort of hanging in there and doing the best that you can.”

With Scottie Scheffler clear at the top of the leaderboard, McIlroy concedes his chances of winning a green jacket and completing a career grand slam have effectively gone.

“Yeah, you’re just trying to go out and shoot the best score that you possibly can without being reckless and without taking on too much risk,” he added.

“I’ll try to go out and do that tomorrow. I think I moved up a few places with that score today and just try to move up a few more tomorrow and try to get a top 10 and move on.”

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