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2013 PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy surges back into contention

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

Andrew Redington

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.


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.


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

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