Rory McIlroy didn’t have his best game on Saturday, but grinded out six birdies, including the last two, and three bogeys to post a 69 at Doral’s TPC Blue Monster. He’ll start the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship just three shots behind leader Dustin Johnson, who fired an impressive seven-under 65.
“I’ve stayed really patient, I’ve birdied the holes that I’ve needed to,” said McIlroy after his round. “There’s been some really good signs — some positive signs that my game’s good. Just been a couple of drives and irons that haven’t been where I wanted.
“I made six birdies today and didn’t feel like I played that well. If you’re on your game and you’re seeing the lines good, there’s a real low out there.”
And don’t worry, his bum toe isn’t holding him back. Wednesday afternoon in the gym, Rory was doing lateral side bends with a 50lb dumbbell and dropped the weight on his right toe while putting it back on the rack.
“It’s a little sore,” he said. “I’m probably going to lose a toenail which isn’t nice. It’s sore and when I start moving around a bit, it starts to loosen up. I’m icing it every night so it’s very stiff and sore in the mornings, but I’ve got it all wrapped up.”
After posting a 69 on Friday afternoon, he hit the gym again and didn’t run into any problems. This time he was “extra careful” when he replaced the weight.
Last year Rory came from four shots back to win the Quail Hollow Championship by three — after barely making the cut. This time around he doesn’t have as many shots to make up and as Nick Watney, Martin Kaymer and Hunter Mahan showed on Saturday, things can change real quick (except Rory’s looking to gain ground instead of lose it).
“I’ll have to shoot a really good one and not make as many mistakes as I did today,” he said.
Rory missed a few shots left — a result of playing in the wind the past few weeks. He plans to work through the glitch at the range on Sunday morning. As for his game plan on the course, he’s just going to focus on hitting good shots, which usually takes care of the rest.
I’m not really going out there to chase numbers, I’m just going out there to play golf,” said Rory. “I can only control what I do and if I’m shooting 62 or 72, it doesn’t really matter.”
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)