Bill Elliott reflects on Rory McIlroy's dominant display in the third round of the 143rd Open Championship

BY BILL ELLIOTT

Yet again Rory McIlroy stands confidently on the threshold of greatness. This time in The Open Championship. At 25 years of age.

A double eagle barrage in his last three holes at a befuddled, switched-round, rejigged Hoylake as the organisers ran scared before a predicted storm that never arrived, lifted the Ulsterman into a dominant six stroke lead and one he surely will not now relinquish.

Sunday’s final round should be a stroll in the park or at least as close as it is possible to get to such a thing. In golf anything is possible – ask Greg Norman – but McIlroy not winning his third Major and the third leg of his personal Grand Slam is so far out of synch with logic as to be almost unthinkable.

Sergio Garcia, destined once more not to win one of these damn things, summed up the mood of McIlroy’s closest pursuers when he said that “the only thing I can do is play as well as possible and try to put him some pressure on him”.

And then Sergio shrugged a shrug that said more and what it said was that he knew he was saying the right words but he knew also that he did not really believe a word of it.

Right now McIlroy is just playing too well, too controlled, too smart. Of course he might fall over in a bunker and sprain an ankle, he might hit himself in the fact with his driver, he might decide that he is too young for all this nonsense and walk away early.

He might. But he won’t. Congratulations young man, you are the champion golfer of the year. Now go through the motions of finishing this off.