ATLANTA – Following an even-par 70 on Friday at East Lake, Rory McIlroy headed for the practice tee with swing coach Michael Bannon.
It took about an hour in sweltering heat, but if Saturday’s 66 is any indication, the Northern Irishman found what he was looking for.
McIlroy put on a ball-striking clinic on Day 3, hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation on his way to a 66 that vaulted him into a tie for third, just two strokes off the lead held by Dustin Johnson and Kevin Chappell.
“It's something I'm going to have to continue to work on past this week, but it's definitely something I needed to address,” McIlroy said. “I just got a little bit out of sync with my upper body and lower body, and it definitely helped.”
McIlroy dropped out of the top 5 in FedEx Cup points following a poor finish at the BMW Championship (T-42), and will need some help from Johnson, the points leader, if he’s going to claim his first FedEx Cup title.
He will need to win on Sunday at East Lake and have Johnson finish in a tie for second or worse to claim the season-long title.