Rory McIlroy’s near-perfect third-round 66 at The Open put the Northern Irishman into a share of the lead with Ryder Cup teammate Viktor Hovland on 16 under par on Saturday.
However, even the world No 2 could not escape punishment on the famous 17th at the home of golf.
McIlroy’s only dropped shot of the day came on the ‘Road Hole’ when his approach overshot the green and the tarmac surrounding it to settle near a stone wall.
The four-time Major winner was far from alone with Hovland in the minority of those able to just make par at the penultimate hole.
“There’s not going to be much cheering going around there,” Robert MacIntyre correctly predicted after his early morning round.
The 83-strong field played the 17th in a cumulative 52 over par.
There was just one birdie compared to 44 bogeys, three double-bogeys and Lucas Herbert’s seven on the par four.
“Seventeen is a very, very hard hole,” said England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who moved up to eighth on the leaderboard with a 66. “Bogey is not bad.”
So it proved for McIlroy as he limited the damage to one dropped shot and bounced back with a birdie at the 18th to remain in a great position to end his eight-year Major drought.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 16, 2022
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