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Rory McIlroy – R3 interview

Q. Started the day on level par and knew you needed to shoot 68 at worst to have a chance it make the cut. Much satisfaction in doing just that?
RORY McILROY: Sort of. Wish I hadn’t bogeyed the last. But yeah, it was a bit of an up-and-down day. I had eight birdies, two bogeys and a double out there, so there’s a bit of everything.

Yeah, glad to play one more round and get one more round around St. Andrews before I call it a season and get ready for next year.

Q. Just 1-under par for the championship with seven holes to go, and you reel off four birdies in a row. Was there extra incentive?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, definitely. I did go out with that mind-set today. I knew I needed to shoot at least 68, if not better. Once I double-bogeyed, it was a nice bounce-back. I double-bogeyed the second hole, which was my 11th, then as you said, I birdied four in a row there which was nice. They were very scorable holes, but the wind helping on most of them on the par 5s. Yeah, just nice to be here for tomorrow and nice to get another stroll around St. Andrews.

Q. Sadly your dad won’t be alongside you and won’t make the cut in the team event, but how much have you enjoyed playing with him this week, and also showing your new wife around St. Andrews; it’s her first visit here.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it’s been a really nice week. The Dunhill is always a really enjoyable week. It’s very social. You get together with a few people and have a few drinks or have a bit of dinner. It’s really nice and it’s great to play with three — well not just three, but obviously the practise rounds with my dad and have a stroll around.

He played well. We knew we needed to do something special coming in and he made a birdie, net eagle, on 7 to sort of maybe give us a chance. We just didn’t do enough the last couple of holes.

It’s been a really great week, and as you said, Erica is here, my mom’s here, and we’ve had a really nice week just the family and really enjoying ourselves.

Q. Put into context for us what Tyrrell Hatton is doing out here: He won it last year; he’s 18-under this time, one better than last year, 17-under, and went on to 23 there. Pretty incredible on these courses, isn’t it?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think he needs Jamie Dornan as his caddie. I think he just needs to get him as his caddie and Jamie can pack up the acting and they can go out on Tour.

Yeah, what he’s doing, he’s playing very impressively. Yeah, he played pretty well last week, as well. He obviously is the defending champion here. He loves these three courses. I thought someone might have pushed him today and got a bit closer, but it just shows how well he’s playing, and it’s his to lose tomorrow.

Q. How was that?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was okay. I did what I needed to do to be here for tomorrow, so yeah, it was good. It could have been a few better. I made a few mistakes out there. It was nice, another nice day, and yeah, as I said, just glad to be in for tomorrow.

Would have been nice to have my dad alongside me and play the final round, but we needed to do something special on the back nine. We made a run at it but too little, too late at the end.

Q. Must be pleasing the way you reacted to the double-bogey.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I knew after that double, there was chances coming in but to birdie the next four after that was nice. I had a chance on 7 that I didn’t convert, either.

Yeah, it was good. There’s glimpses of good golf out there, and I played well for the most part. I made a few mistakes but I did enough to play tomorrow, so that’s the main thing.

Q. Last round of the year tomorrow. What’s the game plan for you?
RORY McILROY: Just go out and enjoy myself. Last competitive round of the year. It’s going to be around St. Andrews, which is nice. Go out and enjoy myself, have a good time. Try and shoot a good score and end the season on a bit of a positive note.