Rory McIlroy has admitted that realistically he doesn’t stand much of a chance of winning the Masters on Sunday.
McIlroy, who only needs to win the green jacket to complete a full house of career Majors, made a miraculous recovery over the past two rounds after a testing and difficult start to his campaign on Thursday.
A third-round 67 on Saturday saw the Northern Irishman crawl his way up into the top-10 and will start the final round on eight under par – eight strokes behind leader Dustin Johnson.
‘Being a realist here, I just need to go out and shoot a good one tomorrow and see where it puts me, but I have zero thoughts about winning this golf tournament right now,’ McIlroy said after moving day.
‘I’m 11 under for the last two days, I think that sort of speaks for itself. The good golf was in there, I just didn’t allow myself to play that way on the first 18 holes. This course can do that. This course can make you a little bit careful and a little bit tentative at times.’
The former world No 1 had a number of opportunities on Saturday to make further headway in his grind around Augusta National but yet another bogey on the famous par-five, 13th hole saw him drop a valuable spot.
— The Masters (@TheMasters) November 14, 2020
‘I try to view everything as a learning experience, but yeah, I’ll look back at that and rue some of the shots that I hit and some of the thought processes I had and just try to learn from it and be better the next time.
‘I’ve always said I play my best golf when I’m trusting and freer, and I’ve been a lot freer over the last 36 holes. I’ll just try to play a good round of golf (on Sunday), try to do the same thing I’ve done the last couple of days, go out and try to hit every fairway, try to hit every green, try to make a birdie on every hole if you can.
‘You’re just trying to shoot the best possible score. That’s the way to win golf tournaments is to just keep doing that day after day. That’s what I’m going to try to do.’
McIlroy’s best ever finish in Georgia came back in 2015 when he secured T4 but a decent showing in Sunday’s final round could certainly make for an interesting conclusion.