ATLANTA – Rory McIlroy lamented his inability to get off to a fast start at East Lake on Friday, a problem compounded by bogeys on two of his first four holes on Day 3, but it was his final hole that truly stalled his FedEx Cup chances Saturday.
Three strokes off the lead playing the par-3 last hole at the Tour Championship, McIlroy found the lip of the greenside bunker with his tee shot and needed four strokes to finish the hole for a double bogey that left him at 3 under, five shots off the lead.
“I just couldn’t get a stance to where I could aim directly at the pin,” said McIlroy, who closed with a 70 on a wet and windy day at East Lake. “I was aiming about 10 feet right of the pin and trying to hood the club face and sort of manufacture some sort of shot.”
Instead, the Northern Irishman will need to get off to that fast start that’s eluded him all week if he’s going to have any chance of catching Jordan Spieth, who birdied the last to take the lead.
“I need to play those [first six] holes a lot better tomorrow if I’m going to have any sort of chance to win,” he said.