After a tenacious third round propelled him into a share of the lead, Rory McIlroy claims adhering to his plan will offer him “a great chance” on the last day of the Memorial Tournament.
The Northern Irishman moved up six spots in the standings with to his round of two under on Saturday.
He shares the lead with Kim Si-woo of South Korea and David Lipsky of the United States.
McIlroy told Sky Sports, “If I stick with the game plan from the last three days, I’ll be in with a great chance.”
The 34-year-old McIlroy has been concentrating on keeping the ball in play off the tee at Ohio’s testing Muirfield Village Golf Club.
He outperformed everyone in the field in round three, needing just 22 putts total, the fewest of any player.
The third-ranked player in the world continued, “I feel more at ease. I doubt I’m fully recovered. I’m struggling, but I’m hanging in there. The course is playing really challengingly, and you must navigate the course by situating yourself.
“It’s better. I keep saying it, but it seems like I’m not as much of a club face fighter as I once was. I am able to trust it a little bit more and unleash it a little bit more. You must put your trust in it this week given how challenging it is playing.
“From fairways, I believe this course is still fairly playable. The ball has been kept in play well by me. Tomorrow, I need to follow that strategy and restrain myself from acting rashly or aggressively.
McIlroy’s important shots included a chip in from off the green on hole 12 and a birdie on hole 17 after missing hole 16 with an 8-iron from 178 yards out.
Despite still holding a share of the lead on day three, American Lipsky, who has never won on the PGA Tour, lost three strokes in his final six holes.
Kim from South Korea had some trouble as well, making double bogeys on holes three and 11, but rebounded with six birdies to stay in the game.
After losing four strokes in the first four holes of a five-over-par round, American Justin Suh dropped from first place overnight to 14th.
The triple bogey he made on hole 12 in his three-over-par round caused Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who was second overnight, to drop to ninth in the field.