McIlroy set for Spieth showdown

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Unfinished business at Masters – McIlroy

Rory McIlroy says he will try to forget about winning a career Grand Slam when he goes head to head with Jordan Spieth in the Masters third round on Saturday.

McIlroy and the American will be the final pairing at Augusta after McIlroy carded a 71 to finish a shot behind the 2015 champion, who struggled to a 74.

The Northern Irishman could become the sixth player to win all four majors.

“When I’m out there on the course, I just have to be completely 100% focused on the task at hand,” he said.

The pair will tee off at 19:50 BST.

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McIlroy, 26, is seeking a first Masters title following victories at the US Open, the Open Championship and the US PGA.

The four-time major winner started Friday’s second round four shots adrift of 22-year-old Spieth, saying his gutsy fightback was “up there” with the best rounds of his career.

McIlroy sunk three birdies in the final six holes to claim the early clubhouse lead, setting up a weekend pairing with Spieth after American amateur Bryson DeChambeau blew his chance of separating them with a triple bogey on the 18th.

“If I can stay in the moment and be completely focused over every golf shot I hit from now until Sunday night, then hopefully everything will work out the way I want it to,” McIlroy added.

“I know it’s a very big weekend for me.”


Spieth led McIlroy by eight shots early in Friday’s second round

McIlroy and Spieth, who is the defending Masters champion and has led for a record-equalling six rounds at Augusta, will be playing together for the 13th time in Saturday’s third round.

McIlroy has carded a lower score than Spieth in eight of their 12 rounds together, but Spieth insists both men will not be thinking about the other’s performance.

“We enjoy playing with each other. We’ve both played well. We’ve both played poorly,” said the two-time major winner.

“We both seem to be on our games right now and are obviously really focused on this week with a lot of fantastic players behind us.

“I don’t think either one of us is focused on each other. I think we’re focused on the golf course.”

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