Rory Mcllroy: Tiger Woods put in a monumental effort to reach the cut, and nerves were not a factor in his second-round 71

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Rory Mcllroy
Source: Skysports

Rory Mcllroy: Rory Mcllroy recorded a second-round 71 to fall to four under par, five strokes off the lead at the midway stage of the PGA Championship in Southern Hills.

Rory McIlroy had held the overnight clubhouse lead of five under par, but it had been taken by Justin Thomas (-6), with Will Zalatoris (-9) moving clear following a bogey-free 65.

Meanwhile, Rory Mcllroy lost more ground after missing the cut at the second and three-putting for bogey at the seventh.

On the back nine, the two-time PGA winner made his first birdie of the day after holing a putt from 10 feet at the 12th, but a string of pars down the stretch kept him on four under par with Abraham Ancer and Davis Riley.

“I didn’t get off to the best of starts,” McIlroy told reporters. “That bogey on two, and then, from there, I didn’t give myself enough realistic chances for birdies.

“After that, I played solidly on the way in; to play the last 11 holes one under was respectable, not to make another bogey.

“I gave myself a few more chances on the back nine and just couldn’t quite capitalise on a couple of them. But those up-and-downs on 16, 17, and 18 I think were really important. It just keeps me a little closer to the lead and doesn’t really feel like I’ve got such a mountain to climb as if I had maybe dropped one or two over those last three holes.

“There’s a long way to go, a lot of golf left. We’re going to see a completely different golf course the next two days because of the wind direction. It’s going to play completely differently and that makes it very interesting.”

When asked if nerves had a role in his poor performance on Thursday, McIlroy replied: “No, I do not believe so. I was in a good mood out there.

“I wouldn’t attribute it to nerves. You’re not going to go out every day and shoot 65.

“Perhaps I wasn’t as devoted or active as I had been the day before.”

During the first two days in Tulsa, McIlroy has played alongside Jordan Spieth (+1) and his hero Tiger Woods (+3), with Woods particularly impressive on Friday, carding a one-under round to ensure he made the cut – a remarkable feat in only his second tournament back since nearly losing his leg in a car accident last February.

Woods’ effort was described by McIlroy as “really incredible.” “Making the cut at Augusta and here; I was joking with Joey LaCava [Woods’ caddy] yesterday that he could have come back and played two of the flattest courses on Tour, but no, he comes to two of the toughest walks that we have.”

“Just incredibly resilient and mentally tough. To get a front-row seat – he’s feeling it, on every swing – to see what he did on that back nine.

“He’s the ultimate pro. Looking at him yesterday, if that would have been me, I would have been considering pulling out and just going home, but Tiger is different and he’s proved he’s different.

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