I need the round of my life to win the Masters - McIlroy

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Rory McIlroy acknowledges he will need to play the round of his life to overhaul a six-shot deficit and complete a career Grand Slam at the Masters on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman once again showed flashes of the genius that make him arguably the game's most gifted golfer in round three at Augusta, but was again unable to generate much in the way of momentum.

McIlroy was level for the day at the turn as three birdies were negated by a bogey and a double-bogey six at the seventh, and just one gain on the way home meant he signed for a one-under 71.

The four-time major champion is consequently level par for the tournament, half a dozen strokes behind co-leaders Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, and McIlroy is well aware of the scale of the task he faces to finally win a green jacket.

"I think I can [make up the difference], yeah, but I need to play the round of my life," he said.

Asked if he will have a "nothing-to-lose approach", he replied: "Yeah, but again you can't start going for shots that aren't there. You still need to play smart when you have to.  

"I'll try to take my chances, birdie the par fives, and birdie some of the other holes and try to not make too many mistakes."

McIlroy added that he does not believe there is a high-risk strategy he can take on Sunday.

"I feel like I play as aggressive as anyone around here," he said.

"It's one of these courses that  [if] you get a little bit too aggressive and you miss it on the wrong side, you end up looking at birdie and end up making bogey, and that's frustrating."