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Rory McIlroy no factor, quest for career grand slam must wait a year

Unlike the players at or near the top of the leader board, McIlroy has not had even one stellar round.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts on the fourth hole during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia.  Photo Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The golfer with the most to gain this week, historically speaking, is not going to gain it. Rory McIlroy is out of contention in his bid to become only the fifth ever to achieve the career Grand Slam. Actually, he never was in contention.

Unlike the players at or near the top of the leader board, McIlroy has not had even one stellar round. He is 1-under par, having shot 1-over 73 Thursday and 1 under the next two days. “It’s not as if I’m playing bad golf. I mean, I’m under par for the golf tournament, but I’m just not enough under par,” he said. “I just made too many mistakes, I guess I’ll say.”

Jordan Spieth has a chance to achieve the career slam next month in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, Phil Mickelson will have the same chance this June in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Simpson catches fire

Webb Simpson found himself in a surprising position nearly halfway through his round Saturday: in contention to win the Masters.

He had been just plodding along at 1 under, basically finishing out the week the best he could when he caught a spark, shot a 64 (one shot from the tournament record) and finished at 9 under for three rounds, four shots out of first.

“I made a sloppy bogey on six and I just kind of had a talk with myself going back to [the seventh] tee, thinking that all my bad shots this week have been just some poor thinking and not being really committed,” the 2012 U.S. Open champion said. “I just said, ‘Hey, if you stay fully committed the rest of the day . . . You’re swinging great, you’re putting well, you’re going to make some birdies.’ And that’s what I did.”

Scott, Day fall back

Adam Scott and Jason Day, who were among those in a five-way tie for the lead after the second round, both fell well back. Scott, with a recurrence of putting trouble, shot par. Day, with inconsistent shots all over the course, shot 73. The two Australians finished at 7 and 6 under, respectively, six and seven shots out of the lead.

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