Late burst puts McIlroy in clear
Rory McIlroy remains on course for Masters glory after three superb late birdies made it his day at Augusta yet again.
After finding the green and two-putting the 13th and 15th, the two par fives on the back nine, the 21-year-old Northern Irishman gave his biggest fist-pump of the week when he rolled in a 25-footer at the 17th.
Suddenly, having trailed Australian Jason Day by one after five, he was four clear of the entire field and bang on track to become the second youngest winner of the title in history.
Then, after Tiger Woods had bogeyed the last for a 74 that dropped him to ninth place seven behind, McIlroy parred it for a 70 and 12 under aggregate.
With Day, Argentina's Angel Cabrera, South African Charl Schwartzel and Korean KJ Choi in joint second place and then England's Luke Donald and Australian Adam Scott five back in sixth the overseas contingent are dominating the event.
But to McIlroy it will not matter who is chasing him. He just wants to make only his 10th major his first victory - after finishing third in the last two of last season.
"It feels good - I'm in a great position," he said, taking nothing for granted yet. I stayed really patient and I'm really happy with how I stuck to my game plans. It paid off in the end. I've been saying all week I feel comfortable and I'm posting good numbers."
Woods has won all his 14 majors, including four green jackets, from the front and that does not look like changing.
"I'm pleased with the way I played," he insisted, "but I just made nothing. I hit so many putts early that looked like going in and didn't, then I had a couple of three-putts (on 11 for bogey and 15 for par).
"That's not very good. Now I'm going to have to put together a good front nine and see what happens. I hit the ball well all day - that was not the problem. Take away the three-putts and give me a few, it could have been a pretty good round."