Water trouble leaves Rory McIlroy chasing the leaders in European Masters final round
Rory McIlroy is three shots off the lead going into the final round of the European Masters in Switzerland.
The world number two suffered a wet end to his third round at the Cans-sur-Sierre, two over for his final five holes after making two visits to the water.
The first came on the par five 14th, causing a bogey six.
A birdie at the 15th was cancelled out by a drop shot at the penultimate hole and a particularly disappointing bogey rounded out the day.
As he did on Friday, McIlroy found the fairway bunker off the 18th tee and, from a good lie, all he needed was to avoid the pond short of the green.
However, that's exactly where he went, actually making an impressive up-and-down after dropping in the rough to save bogey.
"I don't know," McIlroy sighed on Sky Sports. "I felt a little flat out there, a little tired and maybe it all caught up with me. I'm looking forward to getting into bed early tonight.
"I played pretty solid, made a couple of mistakes coming in but make a good start tomorrow and I'm right back in it.
"I'm within three of the lead so if I can play the first four holes in a couple under, as I say I'll be right there.
"I'd love to win here. I just didn't quite have it today as I did the last couple of days. I need to gather myself, get rested up and put everything I have into tomorrow."
Things had been going well for Rory, three under for the day through 13 and, with back-to-back par fives coming up, he would have been eyeing up the solo 54 hole lead.
However, his water troubles leave McIlroy three behind leader Andres Romero ahead of Sunday's final round. The Argentinian's closing stretch was the antithesis of McIlroy's, five under for his last six holes for a round of four under 66 to get to -14 for the week.
In second place, one shot behind Romero, is Australian Wade Ormsby while Tommy Fleetwood and Gavin Green are at 12 under.
McIlroy will be hoping it's not a case of de ja vu with a mistake on the final hole costing him a chance of European Masters success.
Back in 2008, he lost in a play-off to Jeff Lucquin, after bogeying his 72nd hole from the middle of the fairway to let the Frenchman back in.
After winning the PGA Tour Championship last week, McIlroy is aiming to land his 14th European Tour victory.
It would be his first success on his home tour in over three years, since he triumped at the 2016 Irish Open.
Belfast Telegraph Digital