• Wells Fargo Championship, Round Three

McIlroy in contention despite wobble

ESPN staff
May 4, 2013
Rory McIlroy endured a difficult time on the back nine holes © Getty Images

Wells Fargo Championship leaderboard

Rory McIlroy missed the opportunity to take a lead into the final day of the Wells Fargo Championship as the Northern Irishman finished round three with a one-over par round of 73, leaving him three shots adrift of the leaders.

Overnight leader Phil Mickelson failed to carry on his excellent form from Friday as he shared top spot with Nick Watney on eight-under, Watney hitting a one-under 71 and Mickelson managing 73.

Unlike the second round, McIlroy made a solid start on the first few holes - highlighted by a birdie on the fourth when his 162-yard approach to the green allowed him to hole out from six feet. However, a bogey followed on the par-five fifth when he failed to drop his putt from five feet.

McIlroy - who celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday - kept near Mickelson, and closed the gap to the American thanks to a superb eagle on the seventh. His approach was perfect as he avoided the water and the bunker, and slotted in from five feet.

From the highs of an eagle then came the lows of a double bogey, as on the ninth hole he twice found the rough before missing a testing bogey attempt from three feet.

McIlroy dropped down the leaderboard and the situation did not improve as, after a birdie on the tenth, back-to-back bogeys arrived. He ended the round with six straight pars on the back nine and is five-under for the tournament.

Lee Westwood is just two shots off the lead after the Englishman fired a round of 72, while David Lynn, Derek Ernst and John Senden are also on six-under.

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