I’ve given myself some hope – McIlroy leaps up leaderboard with brilliant 65
Rory McIlroy has not abandoned hope of a second remarkable victory in the BMW PGA Championship after a superb third round at Wentworth.
McIlroy, who had to hole from four feet for par on the 18th hole on Friday to make the cut on the mark of one over par, carded an eagle, six birdies and a solitary bogey in a seven-under-par 65 to reach six under for the tournament.
That was five shots off the overnight lead shared by Danny Willett and Jon Rahm, but the world number two famously won this title in 2014 after starting the final round seven shots behind.
“I’ve done what I can and shot a good score and I’ll give it a go for sure tomorrow,” McIlroy said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be quite good enough, but at least I’ve given myself some hope.
“It’s amazing, I only took two weeks off but it felt like I had not played golf in years on Thursday. It was strange. But it has been nice to sort of figure it out a little bit, play a bit better yesterday. Obviously played much better today.
“So even if I am seven, eight shots back and I get off to a decent start, you never know. But at the same time I’m a realist and I know I won from seven back a few years ago and I feel like that’s something that happens maybe once in your career. Maybe try to make it twice.
“At least I’m moving in the right direction, which is the main thing.”
McIlroy, who was in the second group out alongside Tommy Fleetwood and Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, made three birdies in a row from the second and ended a run of six pars in succession with another on the 11th.
The 30-year-old then holed from 15 feet for an eagle on the 12th and birdied the difficult 15th before dropping his only shot of the day on the next following an errant tee shot.
McIlroy responded with a birdie on the 17th and needed another on the last to record his lowest ever score at Wentworth, but had to settle for a par after hitting his approach up against the hospitality pavilion which surrounds the green.
“I wish I’d holed that putt for a 64 but I’m happy with my day’s work,” McIlroy added. “I’ll get a bit of a lie-in on Sunday, which will be nice, but I might still be out playing when Ireland are playing (against Scotland in the rugby World Cup).”