Rory McIlroy claimed he hit the ball “the best he had all week” after a third round of 69 at the US PGA Championship.
The four-time major winner only just made the cut but carded his best score of the tournament so far, despite some missed opportunities on the greens.
McIlroy went out in 32 – aided by an eagle at the par-five fourth – but struggled to keep the momentum going after the turn, a pair of bogeys leaving him sitting at two over after 54 holes.
Still, the 30-year-old was able to reflect on some positive signs at Bethpage Black, even if he is out of contention for glory.
“I hit the ball as good as I’ve hit it in a while and given myself plenty of chances,” McIlroy said.
“If I had just made a couple of putts, I could have definitely shot 65, 66 easily out there today. Yeah, there is a score in me.
“It definitely could have been better. It’s the best I hit it all week for sure. I sort of got it going on the front nine, and a couple of loose shots on the back nine, and obviously the back nine is tougher than the front.
“But yeah, I mean, I played well. I didn’t convert as many chances as I would have liked but it was an improvement over the last couple days.
“If you look at the last nine I played yesterday and the first nine I played today, I was 7-under par for those 18 holes. It’s just about putting it all together on the right day.”