The Open 2018: Rory McIlroy still feels he can win despite disappointing end to third round

The 2014 Open champion bogeyed the 16th and 18th at Carnoustie to fall back to five under par, four shots off the lead

Andy Hampson
Sunday 22 July 2018 11:34
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The Open Championship in numbers

Rory McIlroy feels he is still in strong contention at the Open despite dropping two shots late in his third round.

The 2014 Open champion bogeyed the 16th and 18th at Carnoustie to fall back to five under par, four shots off the lead heading into the final day.

McIlroy, who signed for a one-under-par-70, said: "I felt I did well to get to three under par for the round after 15 - it was a good birdie there. I would have taken three pars on the way in and would have been happy going two behind going into tomorrow.

"I'm obviously disappointed after the way I finished, but I'm still in the tournament. I'm only a few shots behind. The wind is supposed to pick up a little bit. So it will make things interesting. I just need to get off to a fast start tomorrow."

McIlroy, chasing his first major victory in four years, had felt his attacking approach was paying off until his late slips and he intends to play the same way in the last round.

The Northern Irishman said: "Definitely - (the plan is to) go out and hit a lot of drivers.

"I felt like today the course was perfectly set up to take advantage of it and attack it. I tried to do that for the most part.

"Maybe my wedge play wasn't quite as good as it should have been, but I give myself plenty of chances. I just need to regroup and get ready for tomorrow."

McIlroy did show his frustration on the 16th after a photographer took a picture as he played a shot but he later insisted that was not a big issue.

McIlroy is in contention despite a disappointing Saturday

He said: "I probably just didn't give myself enough time to regroup after a photographer was in a world of his own.

"He was taking a photo of the crowd instead of paying attention to the golf. It's fine. That's one of the things that happens. There's a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It's probably my fault."

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