Masters 2012: Rory McIlroy's bid at Augusta ends with 77 in third round
Rory McIlroy's hopes of winning the Masters are over after a disappointing five-over-par 77 in the third round.
The US Open champion from Holywood started the day one off the pace but he dropped six shots in a disastrous front nine at Augusta.
McIlroy finished one over and 10 shots behind leader Peter Hanson of Sweden.
Portrush's Graeme McDowell is two over after a 71 while Dubliner Padraig Harrington has an outside chance after a 68 left him four under.
McIlroy was well placed going into the third round, but he double-bogeyed the first for the second time this week as he went out in 42.
The 22-year-old and playing partner Sergio Garcia, who shot 75 to end one under, acknowledged their shared struggles with a hug on the 12th green after both making their first birdies of the round.
"It was a congratulatory hug," said McIlroy. "We couldn't feed off each other's good energy because there wasn't any," added Garcia. "Our bad holes were really bad and our good holes were bad."
McDowell had a steady round while Harrington moved into contention thanks to a superb finish, picking up birdies at four of the last five holes.
McIlroy and McDowell will tee off together in Sunday's final round.
THE 2012 MASTERS
- Augusta National, Georgia
- 5-8 April
- Live BBC TV coverage:
- BBC Two Saturday & Sunday from 2030 and 1900 BST; Amen Corner plus holes 15 & 16 on Saturday & Sunday on Red Button & online
- BBC Radio:
- 5 live from 2100 BST on Thursday, Friday & Saturday; 2000 BST Sunday