HOYLAKE, England -– His once-comfortable lead gone, Rory McIlroy could have flinched.
Instead, he blew everyone away.
With a stunning display down the stretch, including a pair of eagles, McIlroy put a stranglehold on his third major championship by shooting a 4-under 68 Saturday, sending him to the final round of the British Open with a daunting six-shot edge.
McIlroy came into the day up by four after back-to-back 66s, only to start slowly and find himself tied for the top spot when Rickie Fowler birdied seven of the first 12 holes.
But, in a lightning-quick turnaround, McIlroy rolled in a 35-foot birdie at the 14th and an eagle at the 16th. Fowler bogeyed both holes, a five-shot swing in just under an hour.
When McIlroy made another eagle at the 18th after what he called ''my two best shots of the day,'' he pushed his score to 16-under 200 and seized the largest 54-hole Open lead since Tiger Woods was six strokes ahead at St. Andrews in 2000.
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