• St Jude Classic, Round Three

McIlroy misfires in Memphis

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy had a 72 on Saturday © PA Photos
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Rory McIlroy showed he still has work to do on his game ahead of next week's US Open as he toiled on day three of the St Jude Classic in Memphis.

McIlroy had missed three consecutive cuts going into the tournament, but seemed to have turned his ship around when he took the outright St Jude lead following his second round.

However, cracks began to appear on Saturday as he endured a turbulent few hours that will not settle his nerves as he looks towards the defence of the US Open title which he won in such breathtaking fashion last year, decimating the field in the process.

The world No. 2 posted a 72 that featured six bogeys and four birdies, leaving him at five under through 54 holes. Three players are tied at the top on six under: Nick O'Hern, Davis Love III and John Merrick.

McIlroy hailed the calibre of his ball-striking after Friday's play, perhaps prematurely judged on how he performed a day later: he found 43% of the fairways, and 50% of greens in regulation. His putter was not hot enough to atone for his wayward approach work.

Padraig Harrington is within touching distance of McIlroy at three under, having posted a 71. Martin Laird is two shots further back, while Greg Owen is level par.

John Daly went 68-69 over the first two days, only to unravel with a 76 on Saturday.

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