Beginning the day just two shots off the lead, Rory McIlroy saw his chances for victory at the Kolon Korea Open essentially eliminated after he turned in a disappointing 4-over 75 in Saturday's third round to fall 10 shots off the pace.
Rounds of 70 and 69 had placed the Ulsterman on the first page of the leaderboard at the OneAsia Tour event, but McIlroy struggled from the outset, carding just a single birdie during his third round. Though he made the turn at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in even par, the former world No. 1 suffered a double bogey on the 10th hole that was followed by a bogey at No. 11.
'A frustrating day, because I was in contention after two days and if you shoot a solid score today you're right there,' explained McIlroy, who also dropped a shot at No. 15, his third bogey on the day. 'I just think the story of the day is that I missed a lot of putts, missed a lot of chances for birdies at the start of the round and then missed a few short ones for pars in the middle and end of the round. That's really what it was.'
The lack of productivity from McIlroy was surprising, considering the fact that the 24-year-old carded seven birdies en route to a 2-under 69 during the second round. Now at 1-over 214, McIlroy sits in a tie for 13th heading into Sunday's final round, 10 shots behind leader Hyung-tae Kim who built a four-shot advantage over the field thanks to a bogey-free 66 during the third round.
This event marks the start of a busy stretch of fall golf for McIlroy, who will next head to China for appearances in the BMW Masters and WGC-HSBC Champions, in addition to an exhibition match with world No. 1 Tiger Woods later this month.