Rory McIlroy drops six shots in five holes on torrid day at Honda Classic

Rory McIlroy tumbled out of contention on day three of the Honda Classic after a horror run of holes on the front nine, when he almost fell into water and stabbed out of a bush on his knees at the next hole!

McIlroy’s adventurous third round started with three pars, but he then dropped six shots over the next five holes before playing the remainder in a creditable three under to salvage a 73, leaving him well down the field on seven over par.

His problems began at the fourth when he went from rough to rough and missed from four feet for par, and he was dangerously close to having an unscheduled swim at the par-three next after his tee shot finished on the border of the green.

McIlroy opted to chip while standing on the rocks surrounding the green and, after he played the shot, he appeared set to topple backwards into the lake but just managed to regain his balance in time to stay dry.

But, to his credit, McIlroy lifted his spirits with back-to-back birdies around the turn, although he gave one of them back at the 11th when another pulled drive left him with no option but to punch back to the fairway.

McIlroy picked up another birdie after an excellent approach to three feet at the 14th, and he also converted his best shot of the day at the 17th, where he knocked a sublime mid-iron to 12 feet on the final hole of the infamous Bear Trap.

The 28-year-old missed a good chance for birdie from similar range on the last green, and he will be playing for pride on Sunday before he enjoys a week off having opted not to play in the WGC-Mexico Championship.