Rory McIlroy fought his way to a 71 early on Saturday as he went off with the last person he wanted to be going off with on Saturday, Augusta marker Jeff Knox.
Knox infamously plays with the last golfer to make the cut on Saturday morning if the cut number is an odd number. He does this to keep the field and pace of play even as well as to keep McIlroy's score.
McIlroy's 71 means he's 60-less for the tournament and only has two rounds in the 60s in his last 12 tries at Augusta.
He was actually (unofficially) outplayed by Knox over the course of his round but that speaks more to Knox than it does McIlroy. Knox dropped a 70 on him!
Rory McIlroy played with Augusta member Jeff Knox, whose unofficial score is 2-under 70. Rory shot a 71. #masters2014— Ashley Mayo (@AshleyKMayo) April 12, 2014
McIlroy said earlier in the week that this Masters would be a "chess match" which he noted isn't exactly his forte and it's clear he was correct. He'll probably be 10 shots or more back when he tees off on Sunday.
McIlroy, who needed a 66 or 67 to climb back in it, did play well at the end of his day on Saturday with three birdies in his last four holes and will have some momentum to maybe backdoor a top 10 or 15. Here's a look at his card:
He'll have another fun, rollicking round early on Sunday morning but could be home to Florida by the time the leaders tee off.
It's been a disappointing Masters for McIlroy as I really thought he had the stuff to take home his first green jacket this year.
The door was open -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson slipped out early -- but the Ulsterman couldn't find it and as a result will not complete the third leg of the career grand slam.
It's a shame, the weekend could have used him.