Tuesday 23 July 2019

US Open final day: Rory McIlroy stays in contention as Gary Woodland maintains lead

  • Rory McIlroy -6 after third round 
  • Graeme McDowell finishes on -4
  • Gary Woodland holds one-shot lead from Justin Rose
Rory McIlroy plays a shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy plays a shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy lines up a putt on the second hole during the third round of the US Open Championship in Pebble Beach, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Steve Keating

Rory McIlroy kept himself in contention for the US Open title after a one-under-par third round of 70 at Pebble Beach.

The County Down native is six under for the tournament after finishing with a birdie on the 18th hole.

"I did what I wanted. I hot a lot of green. For the quality of golf I played I don't feel like I got as much out of it," said McIlroy.

"I need to go out there and not miss a shot. I don't think you can't chase too much but I'll need to be a bit more aggreessive on the back nine."

Gary Woodland hits from the fairway on the 9th hole during the third round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach
Gary Woodland hits from the fairway on the 9th hole during the third round of the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach

Ice cool leader Gary Woodland, meanwhile, held his nerve under mounting pressure to claim a one-shot lead from Justin Rose.

Brooks Koepka, Chez Reavie and Louis Oosthuizen are two shots further back.

Frustratingly, McIlroy hit a bogey on the par three 17th hole as he aims to overhaul Woodland on the final day.

Graeme McDowell finished on an improved four under par for the tournament after a Day Three round of 70.

Offaly native Shane Lowry shot a one-under par 70 leaving him one over and tied for 33rd place.

Meanwhile, the hopes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson all but disappeared.

Mickelson and Woods, as always, were the Pebble Beach headliners and although they pulled in massive galleries, they gave their fans little to get excited about.

Woods, nine back to start the day, began his round in the same frustrating fashion that he ended the second round - with a bogey - and did nothing to improve his mood by picking up another at the third.

The early miscues appeared to fire up the 15-time major winner, and Woods responded with back-to-back birdies but the relief was only temporary as he gave back those two shots with bogeys at seven and 12.

Woods would birdie three of his final five holes, including the 18th but it was too little to late an even-par 71 leaving him at even par for the tournament and 10 behind the pacesetter Woodland. "I got off to a crap start," summed up Woods. "I got off to an awful start, and clawed it around, but still gave myself a chance for tomorrow, which is positive."

Graeme McDowell after putting on the second green during the third round of the 2019 US Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Graeme McDowell after putting on the second green during the third round of the 2019 US Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

While Woods at least walked off on a positive note, Mickelson signed off with a triple bogey.

Runner-up at US Open a record six times and needing a victory here to complete the career grand slam, Mickelson will not get it done this year after signing for four-over 75 to leave him at three-over going into Sunday's final round.

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