NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, England — Rory McIlroy moved into contention at the British Masters by shooting a 6-under 64 in the third round, leaving the No. 6-ranked golfer two strokes off the lead held by Sweden’s Robert Karlsson on Saturday.
Karlsson shot 67 and was one stroke clear of five players, including overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton, who bogeyed the last for a 71.
Hatton was one of only three players in the top 24 to fail to break par on a day of low scoring at Close House in northern England.
McIlroy made the weekend only after a back-nine rally in the second round, and now has a good chance of winning for the first time in 2017, in what is his next-to-last event of the season.
"You get yourself into contention and you start to think about things and it would be nice to get a win," said McIlroy, who chipped in for a birdie on the fifth hole and carded three more birdies in a front nine of 31.
"The last couple of tournaments, I’ve been off pretty early on the weekends and had 50 people following me, where there’s thousands out there. So it’s nice to get into that sort of environment again. I haven’t shot a low score like that in a while."
McIlroy is looking to avoid just the second winless season of his career.
Karlsson held the 54-hole lead for the first time on the European Tour since 2008.