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PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy eyes big finish at Valhalla as Robert MacIntyre welcomes major pressure

Rory McIlroy is seven off the lead at eight under going into the final round of the PGA Championship, looking to end his 10-year major drought; Scotland's Robert MacIntyre is 12 under searching for a first; Watch the final round live on Sunday from 2pm on Sky Sports

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, reacts after missing a putt on the second hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Image: Rory McIlroy is eight under, seven off the lead going into Sunday at Valhalla

Rory McIlroy believes he can shoot a low score on the final day of the PGA Championship, while Robert MacIntyre is relishing the pressure of competing for a first major title.

MacIntyre carded six birdies and a solitary bogey in a five-under third-round of 66 to go into Sunday 12 under par, three behind leaders Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa at 15 under.

The 27-year-old Scot enjoyed an unbeaten Ryder Cup debut in Rome last year but his best finish at a major previously is when he was tied-sixth at The Open in 2019 at Royal Portrush.

Robert MacIntyre, PGA Championship day three
Image: Robert MacIntyre produced a five-under round of 66 on Saturday to push himself into contention at the PGA Championship

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"The only reason there's pressure is because you care so much," MacIntyre told reporters after his round on Saturday.

"It's only because you care about what you're doing, the position that you're in.

"But it's fun. It's part of it. It's new in an individual event, the pressure.

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Highlights from day three of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

"Obviously the Ryder Cup was a bit more severe but I had team-mates to back me up. This time it's me and Mike, my caddie. We're out there fighting as much as we can.

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"I'm going to get nervous but all I can do is try my best and see where we end up. If I'm in with a chance, I'm in with a chance, and then we may start thinking about winning a golf tournament.

"But until about probably the 68th hole I'm going to try and just play golf, and then at the 68th hole I have to maybe think about what I'm doing."

MacIntyre earned his PGA Tour card for this season by finishing 13th on the DP World Tour money list, but has initially struggled to come to terms with the different environment on the other side of the Atlantic.

Robert MacIntyre, of Scotland, waves after making a putt on the first hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Image: Robert MacIntyre says he has struggled to adapt to living and playing golf in America on the PGA Tour

However, after enjoying some time back at home in April, MacIntyre finished just outside the top 10 in the Myrtle Beach Classic last week and will have the added bonus of partnering Rose - who he paired up with twice in Rome - in the final round at Valhalla.

"To be honest, it's all about my own mindset," he added. "It depends on how I'm feeling as a person outside of golf.

"Everyone knows I've been struggling with living in America since January. It's been difficult.

"I went home there for three weeks, spent a lot of time with friends and family and everyone that really matters to me, and I came back out wanting to play golf.

"If you're wanting to play golf, you're going to practice hard, you're going to enjoy it, and yeah, the performances have been there the last few."

McIlroy eyes big finish: 'There's certainly a low score in me'

In terms of further European interest on the final day in Valhalla, as well as Rose, who is tied with MacIntyre at 12 under, there's Ireland's Shane Lowry, who narrowly missed out on the first 61 in men's major history during an incredible third round that has him two off the lead, alongside Norway's Viktor Hovland.

Belgium's Thomas Detry is 10 under, while Northern Ireland's McIlroy is two strokes further back at eight under after a disappointing round of 68 that promised much more after a run of four-straight birdies from the seventh to the 10th hole.

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Rory McIlroy shot a three-under-par 68 during the third round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla which included an impressive run of four consecutive birdies.

Trying to end his 10-year major title drought, the four-time major winner said of his Sunday hopes: "I have to go out there and try to shoot a low one.

"I putted really well on Thursday, and then just the last couple days it's sort of deserted me.

"I need the putter to sort of heat up again... there's certainly another low one in me."

McIlroy added: "I really got it going around the turn there to get to four under, and then I had good looks at 11, 12, 13 and 15... and then I made two bogeys.

"There was a seven-hole stretch where the putter just sort of cooled on me.

"Depending on what happens tomorrow, if I look back on the tournament, I may rue that six-hole stretch where I wasn't able to hole any putts."

Who will win the PGA Championship? Watch the final round live on Sunday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, majors and more with NOW.

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