McIlroy needs 'round of his life' to complete grand slam

McIlroy was determined to erase the memory of a costly stroke of bad luck on day two, when his approach to the 18th clattered into the pin and rebounded 20 yards off the green.

He's won each of the other three majors and the Masters is the only event remaining for him to win the career Grand Slam.

As the talented Augusta member who is frequently relied upon to tee it up over the weekend when an odd number make the cut, Knox has gained a degree of notoriety - particularly after he apparently shot a better score than Rory McIlroy when the duo were paired together in 2014.

McIlroy looked as though a sizzling score might be in the cards when he made a hot start to his third round, but he ultimately ended the day further back than where he started after a one-under-par 71 that he thought could have been a 67 if not for some wasted opportunities.

Two closing pars kept him at three under for the tournament, and he said: "It wasn't quite as adventurous as previous Masters have been for me".

It could've been much better.

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At one under par, McIlroy was in red figures for just the second time this week and three off the lead shared by Sergio Garcia, Charley Hoffman, Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler.

The 27-year-old battled back from being three over par after eight holes to card an opening 72, but subsequent scores of 73 and 71 meant a closing 69 left the four-time major victor well off the pace on three under par.

Garcia, who has recorded 22 top-10 finishes in majors, had the added incentive of being able to claim a first title on Sunday, which would have been the 60th birthday of two-time champion and fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros. "That right now isn't good enough, but it's going in the right direction and every time I come back here I feel like I have more and more of a chance to win". We lost. So I don't really care about that stat. "And I was just on the wrong side of it sometimes today". Then you really give yourself a chance.

"Oh, I just didn't want Jeff to beat me", said the Australian. He hit a first-round 65 in 2011 and a final-round 66 in 2015.

His round came off the rails, though, when he found the bunker with his approach at the par-4 seventh.

A birdie on the eighth repaired some of the damage but still left McIlroy seven shots off the pace being set by Hoffman, who had birdied the second and fourth.

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