Rory McIlroy birdied four of his closing six holes to get to grips with his game at the European Challenge Tour’s Egyptian Open presented by SODIC.
Having struggled to find his best form in the land of the pyramids because of an on-going swing change, the 21-year old finally saw some light at the end of the technical tunnel after his rousing finish at the JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Club helped him fire a three under 69 to get to two under par.
But the world No 9 will have to produce a miraculous final round if he wants to take home the lion’s share of the US$250,000 prize fund: he is ten shots behind Scotsman George Murray who produced a sublime birdie-birdie-eagle finish for a third round of 68 and a one stroke lead over Dutchman Floris de Vries and Italy’s Alessandro Tadini.
“I started hitting a few good shots on the driving range which is always nice to see and managed to take it out on to the golf course,” said McIlroy, who earlier in the became the first golfer to hit balls in the shadows of the Great Pyramids at Gisa.
“I started quite nicely – had a bit of a dodgy middle spell and then finished strongly with four birdies in the last six holes so it’s definitely a lot better today.
“I am usually pretty quick with swing changes and stuff but it takes everyone at least a little while to get comfortable with it and I’m still trying to get comfortable with what I am trying to do.
“It feels a lot better. Today I focused more on the target, had a pre-shot rehearsal of what I was trying to do then I tried the swing and it seemed to work pretty well.
“When you see the ball start off on line and you hit a few good shots it certainly helps your confidence. I still hit a few loose shots out there but it is certainly moving in the right direction, which is a good thing.”
Tournament leader Murray, meanwhile, is hoping to cement his place alongside McIlroy on The 2011 European Tour with a victory this afternoon (Saturday).
The Scot is currently ninth on the Challenge Tour Rankings and could move into the top three with a chance of winning the Rankings at next week’s Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, where the top 20 players will earn promotion to the main Tour.