Highlights: Rory McIlroy climbs The Open leaderboard with front-nine 31

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Rory McIlroy is trying to orchestrate a royal comeback.

McIlroy began Saturday’s third round of The Open Championship  at even par after back-to-back 70s, but five birdies on his front nine helped him turn in 4-under 31.

After an opening birdie for the second time in three days at Royal St. George’s, McIlroy added another birdie by sinking a 25-footer at the par-4 fourth.

Despite giving a shot back at the next, McIlroy added birdies at Nos. 6, 7 and 9.

McIlroy has five career top-5s at The Open, including his win in 2014. Four of those came consecutively before McIlroy snapped the streak with a missed cut at Royal Portrush in 2019.