Rory McIlroy now sits near the top of the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round; McIlroy won his only other Irish Open when the event was held at the same venue in 2016 and is looking to repeat; watch final round live from 12.30pm on Sunday on Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 09/09/23 5:06pm
Rory McIlroy was left cursing his luck as he battled to play his way into contention for a second Horizon Irish Open title at The K Club.
Back at the venue where he lifted the title in 2016, McIlroy began the third round eight shots off the lead but not without hope of mounting a victory charge.
The four-time major winner got off to an ideal start with a birdie on the first and picked up another on the fourth, but then saw his birdie putt on the ninth horseshoe around the hole and stay out.
McIlroy’s eagle chip from the back of the 10th green also caught the edge of the hole and stayed out, but the tap-in birdie took him to eight under par, five behind leaders Shubhankar Sharma and Jordan Smith.
He had holed out from 116 yards for an eagle on the 16th in round two, but it was a completely different story on the same hole 24 hours later.
Attempting to reach the green in two, his approach from 225 yards away in the semi rough found the water in front of the green and from the drop zone his fourth shot hit a rock on the edge of the hazard, but bounced on to the green.
McIlroy narrowly missed the long par attempt and the resulting bogey dropped him four off the lead now held by Germany’s Hurly Long, with Smith having run up a double bogey on the seventh.
Watch the final round of the Horizon Irish Open at The K Club live from 12.30pm on Sunday on Sky Sports Golf.
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