Overnight at the US Masters: Showdown ahead between Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed

RORY MCILROY insists the pressure is all on Patrick Reed as he attempts to overhaul his Ryder Cup rival to win the Masters and complete a career grand slam.

Get in: Rory McIlroy reacts after his eagle on the eighth hole during the third round. Picture: AP Photo/David J Phillip

McIlroy equalled his lowest round at the Masters with a bogey-free 65 to trail Reed by three shots heading into the final round at Augusta National.

“It’s massive to be in the final group for the first time here since 2011,” said McIlroy, who led by four shots after 54 holes in 2011 before collapsing to a closing 80. “I feel like I learned an awful lot that day and hopefully I can put that into practice tomorrow.

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“I’ve been waiting for this chance, to be honest. I always have said that 2011 was a huge turning point in my career. It was the day that I realised I wasn’t ready to win major championships, and I needed to reflect on that and realise what I needed to do differently.

“But now I am ready. Obviously I’m not in the lead like I was going into that day, so I probably don’t have as much pressure. I don’t have to protect anything. I can go out and sort of freewheel like I did today, which is a great position to be in.

“I wish I was a little closer to the lead or leading, but I’m in the final group and I’ve shot 65 on moving day at the Masters. It’s all I can ask for.

“I’m really excited to show everyone what I’ve got, to show Patrick Reed what I’ve got and all the pressure is on him. He went to Augusta State and has a lot of support and I’m hoping to come in here and spoil the party.

“Patrick’s got a three shot lead, I feel like all the pressure’s on him. He’s got a few guys chasing him who are pretty big time players. He’s got that to sleep on tonight.

“I don’t feel like there’s any shot on the golf course that I can’t execute and I’m much more relaxed. This isn’t my first time in this position. I’ve been able to close the deal a few times before this.

“Patrick’s going for his first (major title) and I’m going for something else.”

Reed, who beat McIlroy in the opening singles match in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, said: “It’s going to be a lot of fun.

“Obviously we’re both playing really solid golf to be able to go into a final round on Sunday at the first major. But really I’m just going to do my thing and stick to my game plan and go out and enjoy my Sunday.

“I’m not out there to play Rory. I’m out there to play the golf course. The biggest thing I can pull from Hazeltine is I was going head to head with Rory and was able to put together a really good round, and when he tried to make a counter, I was able to always stay ahead and keep going.”

Asked about McIlroy saying the pressure was all on him, Reed added: “I am leading, so I guess so. But at the same time, he’s trying to go for the career grand slam. You can put it either way.

“It’s going to be electrifying. The fans are going to be ready to go, they are going to be ready to cheer for whoever is making putts, whoever is making birdies or pulling off shots.

“It’s just going to be one of those days you just need to go out and be able to put your nose to the grind and just play some golf.”

Collated third round scores (USA unless stated, par 72, (a) denotes amateurs):

202 Patrick Reed 69 66 67

205 Rory McIlroy (Nirl) 69 71 65

207 Rickie Fowler 70 72 65

208 Jon Rahm (Spa) 75 68 65

209 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 70 70

210 Marc Leishman (Aus) 70 67 73, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 72 72 66, Bubba Watson

73 69 68

211 Justin Thomas 74 67 70, Jordan Spieth 66 74 71

212 Dustin Johnson 73 68 71

213 Cameron Smith (Aus) 71 72 70, Justin Rose (Eng) 72 70 71, Louis Oosthuizen

(Rsa) 71 71 71

215 Tony Finau 68 74 73, Jason Day (Aus) 75 71 69, Charley Hoffman 69 73 73,

Jimmy Walker 73 71 71, Matt Kuchar 68 75 72, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 73 72

216 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 71 74 71, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 72 74 70, Hideki

Matsuyama (Jpn) 73 71 72, Russell Henley 73 72 71, Adam Hadwin (Can) 69 75 72,

Kevin Kisner 72 75 69, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 75 73 68, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 75

74 67

217 Haotong Li (Chn) 69 76 72

218 Daniel Berger 73 74 71, Zach Johnson 70 74 74, Adam Scott (Aus) 75 73 70,

Paul Casey (Eng) 74 75 69, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 77 69 72, Ryan Moore 74 72 72

219 Bernhard Langer (Ger) 74 74 71, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 69 76 74, Fred

Couples 72 74 73, Webb Simpson 76 73 70

220 Tiger Woods 73 75 72, Branden Grace (Rsa) 73 73 74, Bryson DeChambeau 74 74


221 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 79 70 72, Kyle Stanley 72 74 75, Xander

Schauffele 71 78 72, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 74 73 74

222 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 74 75 73, Doug Ghim (a) 72 76 74, Chez Reavie 76 71


223 Phil Mickelson 70 79 74, Ian Poulter (Eng) 74 75 74, Brian Harman 73 74 76

224 Vijay Singh (Fij) 71 74 79