Rory McIlroy admitted he was still adjusting back to tournament golf after slipping out of contention with an “erratic” round at the Travelers Championship.
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The world No 1 went into the weekend four strokes back from midway pacesetter Phil Mickelson, only to fall further down the leaderboard with a one-under 69 at TPC River Highlands on Saturday.
McIlroy mixed five birdies with four bogeys during an up-and-down day in Connecticut, with two dropped shots over the closing four holes seeing him head into the final round tied-18th and eight behind leader Brendon Todd.
“Every time I took a step forward I took a step back a couple holes later.” McIlroy said after his round. “I sort of stood still compared to everyone else that was going low out there. Disappointing day.
“It’s a little erratic. The good stuff is in there, but obviously there’s a bit of bad, too. Sort of just putting it down to having those few months off and not really sort of finding my rhythm yet.
“Hopefully I can post a low one tomorrow and have a week off before going up to Columbus for a couple of weeks.
“I guess if I’d got to 12-under after 14, if I had have been able to sneak a couple more over the last few holes, get to 14 and then all of a sudden you feel like you’re right in it. I went the other way those last few holes and that’s what took me out of it.”
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Todd opened up a two-shot advantage after a career-low 61, while Dustin Johnson is his closest challenge after matching his 61 and also registering his lowest-ever round on the PGA Tour.
“I mean, it always could have been better,” Johnson said. “I hit a lot of nice putts that hit the hole from that eight-to ten-foot range, probably had four, five or six of them that I probably should have made.
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