McIlroy eyeing early gains to apply scoreboard pressure

Rory McIlroy intends to attack his final 18 holes at The Open to try and get himself in contention for the Claret Jug on Sunday.

McIlroy hit a one-under 70 on Saturday to leave him at -5 through 54 holes, trailing leaders Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner by four shots.

Costly bogeys on the back nine halted McIlroy's third-round charge but with conditions set to change he remains positive about his chances.

And the 2014 champion - who will play round four with Matt Kuchar - hopes to pick up some early shots to help build momentum and apply scoreboard pressure.

"I just need to get off to a fast start," McIlroy told reporters at Carnoustie.

"I'm obviously disappointed after the way I finished, but I'm still in the tournament. I'm only a few shots behind.

"[I need to] go out and hit a lot of drivers. I felt like the course was perfectly set up to take advantage of it and attack it. I tried to do that for the most part.

"Maybe my wedge play wasn't quite as good as it should have been, but I give myself plenty of chances. I just need to regroup and get ready.

"It will be interesting. The wind's going to be up, and there's a lot of guys that feel like they have a chance.

"The good thing is there's not many players in between me and the lead. It's not that bunched. 

"I think, if I can get to double digits under par, I think that would be a good score to post and see what happens."

Alongside McIlroy on five under is Tiger Woods, the golfing great finally back in contention for a major title, much to the delight of the Northern Irishman.

"It's good for golf," he added when asked about Woods. "He'll definitely be feeling it [on Sunday].

"It's his first time in the hunt for a major in a while. So, yeah, it will be good."

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