LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Rory McIlroy knows that the final round of this major championship isn’t going to resemble the final round of the last major championship.
McIlroy won the British Open fairly easily last month at Royal Liverpool. Even though the winning margin was only two shots over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, the victory was never in question.
The final round of the PGA Championship Sunday at Valhalla likely is going to be a much, much different story. McIlroy shot a second consecutive 67 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round over unheralded Bernd Wiesberger. Fowler is only two shots back while Jason Day and Phil Mickelson are three shots back.
“It is going to be a shootout,” McIlroy said. “You know the conditions are soft; guys are going to make birdies and you know that you’re going to have to make birdies, as well, to try and win.”
McIlroy lost the outright lead for about 10 seconds on Saturday. For the second consecutive day he didn’t play his best golf but still managed to muster a great score. While most of the other players were throwing darts into greens and making birdies hand over fist, McIlroy was only 1 under par after 12 holes. But, as McIlroy is wont to do, he rattled off three birdies in the final four holes to guarantee a one-shot lead.
“I’ll take a win anyway it comes and if that means I have to scrap it out down the stretch, so be it,” he said.
“I’ve got one more day to just give it everything I have and then I can take a week off and recover and then get right back at it and play another four weeks in a row.”