Augusta - Rory McIlroy says he will have to play the round of his life on Sunday to have any hope of completing his career grand slam at the Masters.
Northern Ireland's world number two shot a one-under-par 71 in Saturday's third round at Augusta National and knew it was not enough to put him among the realistic final-round contenders for the green jacket.
"I think I can (still win), yeah, but I need to play the round of my life tomorrow," McIlroy said.
McIlroy's major titles include the 2011 US Open, 2014 British Open and the 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship.
McIlroy shot par 72 on Thursday and one-over 73 on Friday in swirling winds gusting up to 65km/h and was looking for a third round in the 60s to keep his hopes alive.
Now he's in a six-way tie for 11th place on 216 and will need something exceptional to challenge for the title against England's Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia of Spain.
They share the lead on six-under par 210 ahead of world number eight Rickie Fowler in third and 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth, one shot behind in a three-way share of fourth.
"I'm going to need my best score around here, 65, and I'm going to need something like that, if not lower, to have a chance tomorrow," he said.
McIlroy has never played better than 65 in his previous eight appearances at the Masters. He hit a first-round 65 in 2011 and a final-round 66 in 2015. His average over 30 rounds at Augusta National is 71.9.
McIlroy's drive to complete a career grand slam by winning the Masters green jacket will not push him to throw caution to the wind in the final round.
"I don't think so. I feel like I play as aggressive as anyone around here," he said.
"It's one of these courses that you get a little bit too aggressive and you miss it on the wrong side and you end up looking at birdie and end up making bogey, and that's frustrating."
Scores after Saturday's third round of the 81st Masters at par-72 Augusta National Golf Club:
210 - Justin Rose (ENG) 71-72-67, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 71-69-70
211 - Rickie Fowler (USA) 73-67-71
212 - Jordan Spieth (USA) 75-69-68, Ryan Moore (USA) 74-69-69, Charley Hoffman (USA) 65-75-72
213 - Adam Scott (AUS) 75-69-69
214 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 74-72-68
215 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 70-77-68, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 72-68-75
- Paul Casey (ENG) 72-75-69, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 72-73-71, Matt Kuchar
(USA) 72-73-71, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 72-73-71, Jon Rahm (ESP) 73-70-73,
William McGirt (USA) 69-73-74
217 - Kevin Chappell (USA) 71-76-70, Jimmy Walker (USA) 76-71-70, Jason Dufner (USA) 71-76-70, Fred Couples (USA) 73-70-74
- Brandt Snedeker (USA) 75-74-69, Brooks Koepka (USA) 74-73-71, Pat
Perez (USA) 74-74-70, Russell Henley (USA) 71-76-71, Bill Haas (USA)
75-72-71, Phil Mickelson (USA) 71-73-74
219 - Jason Day (AUS) 74-76-69
220 - Justin Thomas (USA) 73-76-71, Steve Stricker (USA) 75-73-72, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 76-70-74, Martin Kaymer (GER) 78-68-74
221 - Branden Grace (RSA) 76-74-71, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 78-72-71, Brian Stuard (USA) 77-70-74, Stewart Hagestad (USA) 74-73-74
- Daniel Berger (USA) 77-73-72, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 71-78-73,
Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 79-70-73, Brendan Steele (USA) 74-73-75
223 - J.B. Holmes (USA) 78-72-73, Kevin Kisner (USA) 74-75-74, An Byeong Hun (KOR) 76-73-74
224 - Ross Fisher (ENG) 76-74-74, Daniel Summerhays (USA) 74-75-75, Adam Hadwin (CAN) 75-74-75, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 77-71-76
- Curtis Luck (AUS) 78-72-75, James Hahn (USA) 75-75-75, Andy Sullivan
(ENG) 71-78-76, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 77-72-76, Marc Leishman (AUS)
229 - Larry Mize (USA) 74-76-79
230 - Ernie Els (RSA) 72-75-83