Superb 66 moves Rory McIlroy into contention in Boston
Paul Casey fired third consecutive 66 to take a three shot lead into Monday’s final round
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the fifth tee during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy shot himself into contention in the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship with a superb 66 that still left him to rue a number of dropped shots.
However his total of nine under par still left him six shots behind leader Paul Casey after the Englishman shot a third consecutive 66 to take a three shot lead into Monday’s final round.
Starting the day seven shots off the lead, McIlroy needed a fast start but that looked doubtful after a sloppy bogey five at the opening hole.
However, the improved putting form from Saturday’s second round continued to shine through with the world number five looking more like the McIlroy of old as he picked apart the front nine at TPC Boston in the second event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
A birdie at the par five second cancelled out the error on the previous hole before he hit a purple patch at the fifth. That run led to four consecutive birdies for an outward nine of 32 that catapulted the four-time major winner up the leaderboard.
However, it was not all plain sailing as a hooked approach shot at the 12th, followed by a sloppy pitch led to a damaging double bogey on the same hole that had yielded a triple bogey in the first round. Spectacular finish But it was a sign of the improved confidence McIlroy has in his game this week that he remained patient and birdied the 15th before a spectacular finish at the 18th.
Faced with 209 yards to the hole with his second shot at the par five, the Northern Irishman’s long iron stayed low through the wind, running up on to the green and lipping out of the hole for what would have been an incredible albatross finish.
As it was he had to settle for an eagle three, a round of 66 and a total of nine under that sees him go into the final round tied seventh.
After bogeying the third hole, Casey got his round back on track with a birdie at the fifth and continued to take advantage of the latter part of the front nine as McIlroy had done.
Further birdies at the sixth, seventh and 16th moved him to 13 under with two to play.
But the real fireworks would come at the last as his second shot came within inches of usurping McIlroy’s eagle but his ball stopped just short of dropping in for an albatross.
However, it was an eagle three to finish for the Englishman and he leads by three going into a final round which will be played off two days and begin at an earlier time due to bad weather forecast to come into the Norton area later in the day.