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Byline: NEIL MCLEMAN at Royal Troon a

RORY McILROY broke a club in anger after crashing out of contention to win back The Open title.

ab The World No.4 shot a third-round 73 to slip 12 shots behind leader Henrik Stenson.

7S faw And McIlroy (far left) showed his frustration by throwing his three-wood and snapping off the head after a wayward shot on the 16th fairway at Royal Troon.

The 2014 champion, who is also five behind the new British hope, bearded cult figure Andrew Johnston (left), and 11 behind second-placed Phil Mickelson, made three bogeys in his first five holes.

bc1 m He said: "It was one of those TURN TO PAGE 66 RORY'S BROKEN BADLY FROM BACK PAGE days - that was a tough day. I just wish I had gotten off to a better start.

"I let one go right on the previous hole, the three-iron, and I did the exact same thing at 16.

"The club head came loose on it earlier on the week. I'll get it re-shafted tonight and all will be well in the morning."

Sky Sports commentator Colin Montgomerie said: "It is just frustration, not converting the opportunities he is giving himself."

Leader Stenson, who finished second behind Mickelson in 2013, admitted finishing ahead of the five-time major winner would be sweet.

He said: "There's always revenge. Phil won it very deservingly and made a great finish: four birdies on the last six holes, I believe. It would be great to hand one back to him tomorrow, absolutely.

"But, as we know, it's going to take some good golfing to do that, but I'm certainly willing to give it a try.

"Even though Phil's very popular in this part of the world. So maybe I could have a few more Europeans giving me a push tomorrow, then if we want to get the atmosphere of Ryder Cup going.

"You want to get a few birdies in early and it was a fast start, then I had a couple of wobbles on five and eight.

"But I played a really solid last six or seven holes into the wind.

"I'm playing really nicely and I know Phil will not back off, he is one of the finest players to have played in the last 50 years, but I'm right where I want to be."

Mickelson, who dropped back to second, admitted: "It was a day when I didn't have my best day. My rhythm was out of sorts. I am looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow.

"Henrik and I have played a lot more holes together over the years in Ryder Cups and Majors. I enjoy playing with him, I respect him and we will have a good final round.

"Tomorrow I have to get my rhythm back, play like I did the first couple of days and shoot a good score."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2016
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