Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy maintains Masters belief

Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy Masters

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Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy insists he can still win the Masters following Jordan Spieth’s late blunder at Augusta National on Saturday.

The reigning champion handled the blustery conditions perfectly throughout the majority of his round, while McIlroy dropped off the pace.

Spieth had a four-shot lead at one point but bogeyed the 17th, before he then posted a double bogey on the last to finish with a 73.

McIlroy, priced at 19.00 to win the Masters, will start Sunday’s round on two over after failing to post a single birdie for the first time in 81 major championship rounds.

He carded a round of 77 but is still adamant that he can become only the sixth man to secure a career Grand Slam when he tees off alongside American Daniel Berger.

“I think it’s winnable from here. If Jordan hadn’t had that finish then I would probably say no,” he told BBC Sport.

“But the guys on two and three over like myself feel we have a chance now. I just have to make sure that I get off to a fast start, put some red numbers on the board and make a bit of noise to put a bit of pressure on the guys playing behind me.

“I’m only five back and I can’t believe I am standing here saying that because I was eight behind standing on the 17th tee. I need to regroup and stay positive and go out and attack.”

Smylie Kaufman is Spieth’s closest challenger and is just one behind on two-under. Bernhard Langer rolled back the years to sit on one-under alongside Hideki Matsuyama.

Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Danny Willett are also within striking distance on even par ahead of the final round.

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