Rory McIlroy shot 75 and Tiger Woods 76 in the third round of the U.S. Open. (Redington/Getty Images)
ARDMORE, Pa. -- Playing together for the third straight day, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy found themselves headed in the wrong direction in the third round of the U.S. Open.
Birdies on No. 1 were followed by 17 more holes of sheer frustration on a day when the world's No. 1 and 2 golfers were hoping to close the gap on the leaders. Instead, Woods and McIlroy will enter the final round at 8 over and 9 over, respectively -- and in need of an epic comeback with the current leaders at 2 under.
McIlroy shot a 75 while Woods had a 76 -- their highest scores of the week. McIlroy made two birdies and seven bogeys while Woods had seven bogeys after that opening birdie.
Woods, who already has won THE PLAYERS Championship and three other TOUR events this year, is seeking his fourth U.S. Open title. He won his last major exactly five years ago at Torrey Pines when he beat Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Open.
McIlroy has yet to win on the PGA TOUR this year, although he did finish second at the Valero Texas Open. He is the 2011 U.S. Open winner and reigning PGA champ.