Chuck Burton/Associated Press
Rory McIlroy once again failed to gain ground on the leaders at the 2017 PGA Championship on Saturday, shooting a two-over 73 in the third round at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
McIlroy was inconsistent for the third consecutive day, ending his round in a tie for 48th place at four-over for the tournament, 13 strokes behind leader Kevin Kisner.
Here is a current look at where things stand atop the leaderboard:
The Northern Irishman struggled to find a rhythm, as he carded three birdies and five bogeys on a course he has traditionally owned.
McIlroy entered the day trailing by 10 shots, meaning he needed to go extremely low to have any true hope of contending Sunday.
Things looked promising based on his first shot of the day, as he smoked an incredible drive on the par-four first, as seen in this video courtesy of the PGA of America:
PGA of America @PGA
.@McIlroyRory’s drives are “amazing to witness.” #PGAChamp https://t.co/gmMEF706B3
The four-time major champion’s play began to go downhill from there, however, and he couldn’t take advantage of the big tee shot.
McIlroy settled for a par on No. 1, and although his driving distance did help him play the par fives well Saturday, he struggled mightily on par fours.
The 28-year-old bogeyed both No. 2 and No. 5, each of which are par-four holes. He did get one stroke back by taking advantage of the par-five seventh with a birdie, but McIlroy made the turn at one-over for the day and three-over on the tourney.
McIlroy had a chance to even his day out on No. 10 since it was the second of three par-fives, but a surprising bogey knocked him back down a stroke.
He followed that with another bogey on the 11th, and Ewan Murray of the Guardian pointed out that his putting was severely lacking:
Ewan Murray @mrewanmurray
Rory McIlroy has so far had 14 putts. A total of 21ft made. Now I’m not a mathematician but….
The European Tour supported that observation by noting McIlroy couldn’t sink anything from a long or intermediate distance:
The European Tour @EuropeanTour
McIlroy has played 45 holes.
He is yet to hole a putt longer than 10 feet. https://t.co/knDrRB9nw2
McIlroy started to find his groove, though, with a birdie on the par-three 13th after knocking his tee shot close, and another birdie on the par-five 15th.
He entered the final three holes at one-over for the round, which gave him the opportunity to finish a day at even or better for the first time in the tournament.
A bogey on the par-three 17th, brought on by McIlroy’s inability to hit putts with any consistency, dashed those hopes.
He finished with a par on the 18th, but too much damage had already been done.
The world No. 4 is now essentially guaranteed to complete his third consecutive year without winning a major. McIlroy’s last major title came at the 2014 PGA Championship, and he was never a true threat in any of this year’s four majors.
He does have two top-10 finishes in majors this season, but barring a transcendent performance Sunday, it is unlikely that he will register a third.