McIlroy’s struggles not over
A trip to see the stars of the Miami Heat basketball team has not been followed by a return of Rory McIlroy’s hottest form.
A trip to see the stars of the Miami Heat basketball team was not followed by a return of Rory McIlroy’s hottest form on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Northern Irishman, struggling with his game a month before the Masters, had a third round 73 at the WGC-CA Championship and at six over, remains near the rear of the 68-strong field.
Most weeks McIlroy would have missed the cut with his opening scores of 76 and 73, but in the World Golf Championships there is no cut and so he had to face the wind again.
“It’s hard to really push yourself, but I just want to play better,” said the world number nine, who on Monday heads to Augusta for three days of practice.
“I know I’ll be fine and I can see signs, but I’ve played in pretty windy conditions the last two weeks and it’s tough to get the fundamentals right.
“I’m still hitting a few loose shots. I think I’ve been getting a little in front of the ball and trapping it.”
He covered the first 11 holes in one under, but then bogeyed the long 12th after pushing his drive and dropped another shot on the 245-yard next after coming up way short of the green.
As for watching the Heat beat the Chicago Bulls, McIlroy said: “It was great. I went to see them last year, so I suppose they’re my team – and we were right at courtside last night.”
Newly crowned World Match Play champion Ian Poulter is another Brit who is struggling here.
He was on the same mark after a 72 and had no intention of being too hard on himself in a week when he nearly did not play because of a neck strain.
“It’s still tight and I’ve been getting treatment every evening, but I can’t keep having it worked on because it would just be too painful.”
The world number five was two under after five, but bogeyed the following two, then had to salvage a par at the 551-yard 10th after hitting his second into the lake.
Another birdie came on the 17th, but for the second day running he bogeyed the dangerous 18th.
Fellow Englishman Oliver Wilson tailed off last on 13-over after an awful 77, but Luke Donald birdied five of the first six holes.
However, Donald double-bogeyed the short fourth after going in the water and a bogey on the seventh led to a front nine 34 that might have been so much better.
He turned one under and that was still nine adrift of overnight leader Els, who resumed one in front of Australian Robert Allenby.
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