Rory McIlroy’s worst round thus far at the British Open didn’t come on Friday as was first feared. It came Saturday when he followed a pair of 66s with a third round, four-under 68 at Royal Liverpool.
The 68 is only a number, not an accurate description of his continued trot towards a wire-to-wire victory. Starting the day with a four-shot lead, McIlroy opened with a bogey, but closed with a pair of eagles on his final three holes to extend his lead to six.
Assuming the expected coronation takes place on Sunday, McIlroy will complete the third leg of the career grand slam with only a Masters victory yet to be claimed.
It should be noted that the closest McIlroy came to winning the Masters was in 2011 when he entered the final round four shots in the lead, but shot an 80 for a meltdown of epic proportions, so hold off his British Open coronation for now.
Get ready for it, though.
McIlroy is looking more this time around like the guy who bounced back from the debacle at Augusta to win his next major by eight shots at the U.S. Open, a similar number that separated him from the rest of the pack when he won the 2012 PGA Championship.
McIlroy calmly took control towards the end even when Rickie Fowler briefly tied him for the lead with birdies in seven of his first 12 holes.
Canadian David Hearn seems to be adjusting well to links golf in his first try. Hearn came in with a third round, one-under 71 and is tied for 31st at two under.
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