I've been waiting for this - McIlroy 'ready' for Masters redemption

A confident Rory McIlroy feels "ready" to succeed where he failed seven years ago, by winning the Masters playing in the final group on Sunday.

McIlroy compiled a superb third round of 65 at Augusta National and will head into the last 18 holes trailing Patrick Reed by three strokes.

In 2011, a 21-year-old McIlroy led by four shots at the same stage but fell apart spectacularly, shooting 80 to tumble down the leaderboard.

However, the Northern Irishman has claimed four major titles since then and is understandably positive over his position this time around.

"I've been waiting for this chance, to be honest," said McIlroy in a news conference.

"I always have said that 2011 was a huge turning point in my career. It was the day that I realised I wasn't ready to win major championships, and I needed to reflect on that and realise what I needed to do differently.

"But now I am ready. I learned a lot from it."

McIlroy insists Reed, 14 under after three rounds, will be the man with the most pressure on his shoulders.

"I don't have to protect anything. I can go out and sort of free wheel like I did today, which is a great position to be in," added the former world number one.

"Patrick has got a three shot lead. I feel like all the pressure is on him. He's got to go out and protect that, and he's got a few guys chasing him that are pretty big time players. He's got that to deal with and sleep on tonight.

"I wish I was a little closer to the lead or leading, but I'm in the final group and I've shot 65 on moving day at the Masters. It's all I can ask for."

Many fans will be hoping Reed and McIlroy can deliver a duel to rival their memorable singles match at the 2016 Ryder Cup, which was ultimately won by the American.

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However, McIlroy has not ruled out those further down the leaderboard.

"There's a lot more players in this golf tournament than just Patrick Reed and I," he explained. "You've got Jon [Rahm] on eight [under], Rickie [Fowler] on nine [under], and even Henrik [Stenson] on seven [under] there.

"I know guys can get off to hot starts on a Sunday here and you get a bit of momentum and do something.

"It's definitely not a two horse race at this point."

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