May 20, 2023
Rochester, New York, USA
Oak Hill Country Club
THE MODERATOR: Rory McIlroy joins us here on the third day of the 105th PGA Championship. We're going to jump right into questions.
Q. Your demeanor on Thursday after you finished didn't suggest you would be as close as this going into the final round. Have you turned a corner or were you playing things down?
RORY McILROY: I just wasn't feeling great, to be fair.
I think I still don't feel like my game is in great shape. I've held it together well. I've held some good putts. I've scored well. I probably hit it a little better off the tee today than I did the first couple of days, but I think this tournament and especially in these conditions and on this golf course, the non-physical parts of the game I think are way more important this week than the physical parts of the game, and I think I've done those well, and that's the reason that I'm in a decent position.
Q. What game are you playing with do you feel like or have you played with so far?
RORY McILROY: Like, as in great or -- it hasn't been great. I can play a lot better.
Even today, I was just aiming it down one side of the hole and hitting driver and sort of just accepting that it probably will go in the rough, and if it I do hit it in the rough, I'll -- it's funny, I was a little more accepting of the ball going in the rough today, and I actually hit more fairways because of it.
Again, it just goes to show if you have a little more of a carefree attitude, it seems to work out a little bit better.
Q. That stretch 6 through 9, because of how difficult it is and the rain and the conditions, does that make it easier, and what was your mindset going through there because you knew how hard it was going to be?
RORY McILROY: So going into 6, mindset was don't hit it in the water off the tee. And then second shot was don't hit it in the water with my second shot, and I flared it out to the right a little bit. I ended up making a decent 5.
7, after what happened yesterday with hitting a 3-iron and it running out into the creek, I just thought, bang it left with a driver, see what happens.
8, I got a little unfortunate with the lie off the tee.
And then 9 again was just a poor second shot.
It's a really tough stretch of holes. I was a little disappointed to give three shots away in that stretch. Even one or two would have been okay. But came back nicely on the back nine with those three birdies, and to get it in in 2-under on the back nine was good.
Q. When you walked in here, you joked, "Keep raining." Is it past the point where rain is softening the course? Is it making it more difficult when it's coming down?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it's just tough to play in. It's tough to execute in those sort of conditions out there right now.
The greens aren't that soft. The course has held up incredibly well over the past, I don't know, 12 hours since the rain started. But yeah, when it's like that and it's squally and the wind sort of starts to gust a little bit, it makes execution very hard.
Q. You said earlier it's a course where it's not that difficult to shoot 72, but it's very hard to shoot 67, you feel like you're not playing that well, you've shot back-to-back 69s. Is there a 65 out there tomorrow?
RORY McILROY: I hope so. Like if I look at today, I made enough birdies to shoot a score like that. I just needed to keep those mistakes off the card. I need to keep hope. I have to believe that there is a score like that out there because looking at the board, it's probably a score I'm going to have to shoot something like that to have a chance to win.
Q. Given that you haven't had your best stuff this week, obviously, what are you most pleased and proud of; the fact that you did just post two consecutive 1-unders when you haven't had your stuff? And just as a follow from that, how do you like your position? Do you like coming from behind if things stay relatively the same?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think just my attitude has been well. My ability to just stick in there and show a little bit of grit and determination and not let rounds get away from me too much.
I made a good save -- two good putts for bogeys today on the 6th and 17th there.
So just doing things like that, not letting the round really get away from you. That's what I've done well this week.
I mean, look, I'd obviously like to be a couple of shots closer to the lead, but I think with -- again, with how I've felt this week, if you had have told me on Thursday night that I'd be going into Sunday in the top five and with a realistic chance to win this golf tournament, I would have taken it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for your time, Rory.
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