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Rory McIlroy relishing Sunday shootout at St Andrews

Rory McIlroy relishing Sunday shootout at St Andrews

Rory McIlroy is refusing to let an eight-shot gap put him off his mission of reeling in 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship leader Richard Mansell.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy shot a third-round, six-under 66 at the Old Course, St Andrews and returns for Sunday's shootout off the pace after more magic from Mansell.

The Englishman was in fine form in terrible conditions on Friday, shooting 68 at the Home of Golf, and carried on where he left off by signing for a 67 at Carnoustie.

Mansell sits on 15 under, four ahead of Daniel Gavins, Ryan Fox and Alex Noren with World Number Two McIlroy down in a share of 11th.

The Northern Irishman said: "The way St Andrews is right now, I find it hard to see how someone doesn't go out there and shoot a couple under. It's playing pretty, it's as easy as it can be right now, and even today with a 20-25mph wind, I'm not sure what the forecast is like tomorrow, but if I can go out a shoot a low one...

"If I could maybe get to the number that Richard's on right now, 15, shoot eight under, at least you'd go out and you'd have to make him shoot under par. 

"I guess I could go out and that would be a decent target."

Rory McIlroy

On his round, McIlroy, who played with his dad Gerry in the team event, said: "It was good. We had a lot of rain yesterday and that softened the course up. So even though it was quite windy out there, the ball was pretty much soft wherever it landed. So it made it quite scorable and the rough isn't up but it's set up pretty generously obviously for the amateurs. 

"Plenty of opportunities, only it wasn't the way I wanted to start, spinning it back into the burn on one."

McIlroy recovered from that opening bogey with a birdie at the third, three in a row from the eighth and three more at 14, 16 and 18.

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