Rory McIlroy lamented a “tale of two nines” after his promising third round of the British Open at Royal St George’s on Saturday ended in frustrating fashion.
The Northern Irishman, who made the cut with just a shot to spare after two rounds of 70, surged into the top 20 after making five birdies in a superb front nine of 31.
But it was a different story on the way back, with McIlroy coming home in 38 for a 69 that left him one under par—10 shots behind overnight leader Louis Oosthuizen. It is seven years since McIlroy won the last of his four major championships and a round that started so well went astray with dropped shots at the 11th and 13th holes.
“Sort of a tale of two nines,” McIlroy said after walking off the 18th green. “I played great on the front nine, hit some really good iron shots and converted some putts and really got it going,” he added. “Then the back nine played tough.”
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