Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Masters traffic jam: Contenders galore at Augusta National

Masters traffic jam: Contenders galore at Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Georgia, April 8 Rory McIlroy said on Saturday he needs to play the round of his life to complete the career grand slam but the world number two does not plan to take too many risks on a notoriously demanding Augusta National layout.

"Top tens isn't what I'm looking for, but at the same time the ups and downs I've had here in the past don't quite seem to be so up and quite so down". "I was just in between clubs on both of those holes".

"I think I can (still win), yeah, but I need to play the round of my life tomorrow", McIlroy said.

The Texan, 23, has never finished outside the top two in three Masters appearances, winning in the green jacket in 2015 but suffering agony past year when another quad, this time a seven at the par-three 12th, dashed hopes of back to back titles. Yet he is wary of being overly aggressive in the final round. It's the most important thing around this place because you can hear what is going on around you.

You can bet this group of holes will play a big role in determining who ultimately puts on the green jacket in Butler Cabin this Sunday.

But he almost aced the par-3 sixth hole, knocking his tee shot to within inches, and then went on a second-nine blitz with four birdies in a row from Nos. "She was trying to pick me up and give me a good boost". "I got to work on some stuff in my short game and I felt as comfortable on the greens here as I ever had, even though I had a couple of three-putts". It's the most important thing.

"If someone has made a birdie or eagle on the back nine the leaderboard changes and everyone reacts to that, so you have to focus on yourself and block it out".

He will be forced to wait for another chance to win the one Major title that eludes him as he looks to become the first European to complete the career "Grand Slam".

Former champions Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel were three and four shots off the pace respectively, with Lee Westwood and Thomas Pieters on one under.

History is against McIlroy, who will start his final round in a tie for 11th and playing alongside Matt Kuchar for the second successive day, teeing off at 6:45pm Irish time.

Since returning to competitive action from a rib injury early this season, McIlroy has recorded a T4 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and two T7 finishes (at the WGC Mexico and the Masters).

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