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McIlroy upbeat after top-10 finish

ESPN staff
August 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Rory McIlroy is still without a title in 2013 but was buoyed by his performance at Oak Hill © AP
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Rory McIlroy took the positives from his top-10 finish at the US PGA Championship after struggling for most of the season.

The world No. 3 arrived at Oak Hill as defending champion but was considered an outsider to win the year's final major after toiling with his new Nike clubs in 2013.

McIlroy finished in a tie for eighth on three under with Jason Day and Zach and Dustin Johnson, seven shots behind champion Jason Dufner, his first top-10 finish at a major this season and a much-needed response to not making the cut at the Open following a 'brain-dead' first round of 79 at Muirfield.

"I saw a lot of great signs out there," McIlroy said. "Hopefully, I can just bring that through to the next few weeks and have a strong finish to the season."

McIlroy began the day six shots off the pace and posted a birdie at the third, but any hopes he harboured of defending his title were all but dashed at the fifth.

The Northern Irishman watched his approach to the green spin back onto the rocks on the edge of the water, fired his fourth over the green and eventually moved on with a triple-bogey seven. Birdies on the ninth, 10th and 13th undid the damage but little more.

"I actually didn't hit a bad shot, 168 yards to the pin, nine iron," said McIlroy. "But I pitched it just in the place where you can't pitch it, I guess."

Dufner, meanwhile, moves in to the top-10 for the first time in his career.

World Rankings: 1. Tiger Woods (USA), 2. Phil Mickelson (USA), 3. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 4. Adam Scott (AUS), 5. Justin Rose (ENG), 6. Matt Kuchar (USA), 7. Brandt Snedeker (USA), 8. Jason Dufner (USA), 9. Graeme McDowell (NIR), 10. Henrik Stenson (SWE), 11. Luke Donald (ENG), 12. Keegan Bradley (USA), 13. Steve Stricker (USA), 14. Lee Westwood (ENG), 15. Charl Schwartzel (RSA), 16. Ernie Els (RSA), 17. Ian Poulter (ENG), 18. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), 19. Sergio Garcia (ESP), 20. Jason Day (AUS).

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