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Rory McIlroy shines on Deutsche Bank Championship greens at last as he closes in on leaders

By Adam McKendry

Published 05/09/2016

Eyes on prize: Rory McIlroy plays the fifth hole in last night’s third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston
Eyes on prize: Rory McIlroy plays the fifth hole in last night’s third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston

Rory McIlroy brought himself back into contention at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston after a brilliant five-under par third round of 66, propelling him into the top 10 on the leaderboard of the second FedEx Cup play-off event.

Having played his first three holes of the tournament on Friday in four-over par, the Holywood man has rallied remarkably, playing his last 51 holes in a combined 13-under par, leaving him on nine-under for the tournament, three shots off overnight leader Paul Casey.

Should McIlroy manage to fight back and win, it would be his first PGA Tour victory in what has been a very disappointing year by his high standards.

"The way I'm looking at it is how good a tournament would this be to win being four-over through three," McIlroy said.

"It's a great opportunity to do something that I've never done before. I've never started a tournament like that and went on to win it, so it's a great opportunity to try and overcome a little bit of adversity to start with and then get into it."

The round could have been even better for the World No.5 who saw a 210-yard approach on the last hole lip out for an albatross that would have moved him into double figures.

Regardless, it's a marked improvement for McIlroy, who is projected to move into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup rankings, making him eligible to compete at the season-ending Tour Championship in two weeks' time.

Surprisingly, he has his putting to thank for his impressive round. So often his Achilles' heel in tight tournaments, the Northern Irishman looked composed on the greens and seems to have grown accustomed to the Scotty Cameron putter he switched to just a week ago.

"My putting has really let me down recently," the 27-year old admitted.

"But I'm really happy with that (this week). I'm happy with how I've held on and with how I converted a few of the chances I had yesterday and today, and feel like if I can just keep that going and build on the momentum that I have."

South African Louis Oosthuizen also made a significant move up the leaderboard yesterday, shooting a seven-under par 64 to join McIlroy at nine-under.

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