Rory McIlroy eyes ‘special’ finish

Rory McIlroy Players Champ

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Rory McIlroy has admitted it will take “something pretty special” in Sunday’s final round if he is going to overhaul clubhouse leader Chris Kirk’s four-shot lead over him and win the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

The 26-year-old world number one sits on six under for the tournament after firing a third round 70, but he saw the gap to American Kirk widen as he shot second successive four-under 68 in Florida to take the lead on 10 under.

Fellow Americans Kevin Kisner, Bill Haas and Ben Martin sit in contention just one shot off the lead, while 2008 champion Sergio Garcia is tied for fifth at eight under along with five other players, including 22-year-old American Justin Thomas, who stood out on Saturday as he carded an impressive 65.

Therefore McIlroy, who is level with Englishman Ian Poulter after he also hit a two-under-par 70 on Saturday, is looking to produce his best golf on Sunday as he chases a second successive tournament win on the back of last week’s victory in the WGC Match Play.

The Northern Irishman, who is 5.25 to win the Open Championship in July, said: “I’m going to need something pretty special, a 64 or 65, to have a chance.

“I’ve given myself a lot of chances and really could not convert much – I’ve struggled to read the greens all week.”

The round was one to forget for former world number one and 14-time major champion Tiger Woods who carded a 75 to be 13 shots off the lead on three-over-par.

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