The No. 2-ranked player in the world posted a shocking and disappointing seven-over 79 at Augusta National. That leaves him at plus-five overall—well off the leading pace set by Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Angel Cabrera (-6) as of 5:40 p.m. ET.
McIlroy's day got off to a relatively promising start. At the short par-four third hole, he hit a marvelous wedge that wound around the slope to the back pin location and came to rest within feet of the cup.
That got McIlroy to three under and within three of the lead.
Unlike yesterday, when McIlroy recovered from a lackluster start by going four under over the last 11 holes, nearly the exact opposite happened on this occasion. Two dropped shots at Nos. 7 and 9 sandwiched a missed opportunity on the second par five, where McIlroy made eagle on Friday.
Ron Green Jr. of the Global Golf Post highlighted the fatal mistake that McIlroy made at the difficult par-four No. 11:
And Rory McIlroy excuses himself from this year's Masters with a triple at No. 11.4/13/2013, 8:08:24 PM
That triple bogey dropped McIlroy from one-under to two-over par for the tournament, essentially ending his bid for his first green jacket.
But the damage wasn't completely done, as McIlroy found the water again at No. 15. Irish Golf Desk's Brian Keogh documented a disappointing finish to the hole:
Brian Keogh @IrishGolfDesk
Rory three-putts from 15 feet for double bogey 7. Tosses ball backhanded into the pond in disgust. Now 6 over today and +4 T 39. #Masters4/13/2013, 9:00:03 PM
Another bogey followed at No. 16, as McIlroy tumbled to a six-over 42 on the back nine.
It's likely that the Northern Irishman will eventually notch this leg of the career Grand Slam, but the light schedule and inconsistency that has defined his 2013 season should trigger more competitive rounds in the near future after this display.
The 23-year-old superstar will continue to face heavy criticism. Even if he pulls off something miraculous on Sunday, McIlroy is completely out of the running in the year's maiden major.
A jam-packed leaderboard, featuring many elite players, should lead to a thrilling Masters conclusion, but McIlroy won't be making any significant headlines as the tournament draws to a close.
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