2013 PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy surges back into contention

Andrew Redington

Rory McIlroy may defend his PGA Championship after all. He's back in the top 10 after a strong finish to his round.

Rory McIlroy began the third round nine strokes off the PGA Championship lead, but after a strong close to his round and some early struggles from the leaders, McIlroy is right in the thick of things heading into Sunday.

Oak Hill is proving to be a much tougher challenge on Saturday and McIlroy was one of the few players able to post a score in the 60s. A birdie at No. 6 moved him into the red and he remained 1-under heading into the final two holes. Oak Hill's closing holes have gotten the better of most of the field this week, playing as the two hardest holes on the course.

McIlroy struggled on the closing stretch during the first two rounds, playing No. 17 and No. 18 at 3-over. It was a different story today as he drilled a long birdie putt on the 17th.

Roryputt_medium

That birdie moved him to 2-under and a par on the 18th would have him on the fringe of contention heading into Sunday. McIlroy needed to get up and down from the rough for par, after hitting his approach shot long. He didn't settle for par though, holing the long, breaking chip for back-to-back birdies.

Suprory_medium

The strong close jumped McIlroy into a tie for eighth place and he may move up even further with how much the final groups are struggling. Rory is now just four strokes off the lead. Of the players ahead of him, only one is under par on the round as a combination of wind and firming greens have given the afternoon groups fits early on. McIlroy is very apparent of what's happening at the top of the leaderboard.

Here is a closer look at his third round:

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 OUT 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 IN TOT
Par 4 4 3 5 4 3 4 4 4 35 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 4 4 35 70
Strokes 4 4 3 5 4 2 4 4 4 34 5 3 4 4 4 3 4 3 3 33 67
To Par E E E E E -1 -1 -1 -1 - E E E -1 -1 -1 -1 -2 -3 - -3

More golf from SB Nation:

Dufner matches majors scoring record | Celebrates wildly

Where it went wrong for Tiger | Woods has post-round lesson in PGA parking lot

Leaderboard updates and live coverage of Friday's round

Phil almost forgets to register, avoids DQ | Needs directions to 1st tee

Tiger Woods and an impossible standard

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.