McIlroy shoots 64, moves into contention at British Masters

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy lines up a putt in front of a larger poster of British golfer Lee westward  on the 18th during day one of the British Masters at Close House Golf Club, Newcastle northeast England Thursday Sept. 28, 2017. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, England (AP) Rory McIlroy moved into contention at the British Masters by shooting a 6-under 64 in the third round, leaving the No. 6-ranked golfer two strokes off the lead held by Robert Karlsson on Saturday.

Karlsson shot 67 and was one stroke clear of five players, including overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton, who bogeyed the last for a 71.

Hatton was one of only three players in the top 24 to fail to break par on a day of low scoring at Close House in northern England.

McIlroy made the weekend only after a back-nine rally in the second round, and now has a good chance of winning for the first time in 2017, in what is his next-to-last event of the season.

”You get yourself into contention and you start to think about things and it would be nice to get a win,” said McIlroy, who chipped in for a birdie on the fifth hole and carded three more birdies in a front nine of 31.

”The last couple of tournaments, I’ve been off pretty early on the weekends and had 50 people following me, where there’s thousands out there. So it’s nice to get into that sort of environment again. I haven’t shot a low score like that in a while.”

McIlroy is looking to avoid just the second winless season of his career.