Rory McIlroy knows there’s a long way to go at this Masters tournament.
The Northern Irishman is still in the hunt to become only the sixth player in history to win the grand slam after a one-over 73 on a cold, blustery day at Augusta National.
Despite hitting only four out of 13 fairways, McIlroy made the most of some errant play, including a chip in at the sixth to get himself into red figures for the tournament for the first time.
A missed putt from three feet at 12 for par hurt, though he pulled one back at 17, only to then get unlucky by striking the flag with his approach to 18.
“I’m a little disappointed what happened there,” said Rory about the bad break at the last. “I thought the shot was perfect.
“It was a good number, one of those ones where you had ten or 11 yards past the pin and you could bring it back in, I hit a really good shot but it was unfortunate.” McIlroy said there were “36 more holes left to go” and that he was in a good frame of mind to make a move on the weekend.
“Anything’s possible out there but I feel like I’m playing well enough and I’m in a good frame of mind where I can go out there and attack and make some birdies.
“Last year in the final group (on the Saturday) in similar condition to this, I was more in defence mode rather than attack. It’s a completely different mindset going out there to make birdies rather than not to make bogey. I’ll approach tomorrow with a completely different mindset.”