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06th Sep 2020

Amateur golfers all over the world unite to emphatize with Rory McIlroy

Patrick McCarry

Rory McIlroy

It happens to us all. Even the greats.

Rory McIlroy has twice won the FedEx Cup and, on Friday, put himself in the mix again with a superb opening round of 64.

On Saturday, the East Lake course bit back.

The Holywood native, who became a father for the first time last weekend, started his second round in a tie for fourth place and within touching distance of Dustin Johnson. McIlroy made up three shots on Johnson, who started the tournament on -10, on day one and moved to -9 after a solid start.

He dropped two shots, however, before reaching the turn and, with the winds picking up, it look as though it would be a day to grind and get into the clubhouse with something close to par. That was looking possible, for McIlroy, until he found the rough on the 18th and stuffed his next shot into the water.

Most of us that have swung a golf club in our lives will recognise that fat connection and the sense of dread as your intended shot comes out looking like a nightmare.

In fairness to McIlroy, he took that one on the chin and rallied to only make bogey on that final hole. Speaking to reporters after his +1 round of 71, McIlroy sought to explain what was going on with the duffed shot on 18.

“Yeah, the lie was sort of iffy. My biggest concern was trying to carry the first bunker on the right there, and I knew I needed to hit it really hard and I swung hard at it, and I got it just… I got it maybe like right in the middle of the ball and I didn’t get… I felt like if I tried to sweep it, it would be better, and I just sort of came up on it a little bit.

“Probably, in hindsight, trying to take on a little bit too much. So, yeah, and then it would have been nice to get away with a par. It wasn’t to be.

“But it doesn’t look like I’m going to lose any ground today anyway, which is some sort of consolation. But it was a little trickier today. The wind was a bit sort of everywhere. Hole locations were a little more difficult. I’m still right there, but would have liked to have had a bit of a better finish.”

McIlroy did lose ground, but not that much. Johnson managed to birdie the 18th to finish the second round as the sole leader on -13.

Just behind the current world number one are Sungjae Im (-12) and Xander Schauffele (-11) with Justin Thomas a further stroke back. McIlroy is in a tie for eighth.


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