The Masters: Rory McIlroy bounces back from opening 75 with bogey-free 66

Rory McIlroy staged a spirited fightback to haul himself back into contention for a maiden Masters title after a lengthy second day at Augusta National.

McIlroy looked out of sorts in the nine holes he managed on Thursday evening following the three-hour weather delay, and it got worse for him early on Friday morning as he resumed with a bogey on the 10th.

That set the tone for a back-nine 39 and a round of 75 which left him 10 shots off the lead, but a “colourful” pep talk from Seminole chairman and family friend Jimmy Dunne had the desired effect for his second round, McIlroy cruising to an impressive 66 which ensured he made the cut with plenty to spare.

He needed a big start back at the 10th, which he found with a three-wood, a nine-iron and a perfect putt for birdie, and he picked up further shots at 12, 15 and 17 to get himself into red figures for the tournament.

McIlroy two-putted for another gain at the long second, and he added another at the eighth while keeping a bogey off his card and closing on three under par, just six behind the leaders going into the second half of the final major of the year.

“Jimmy Dunne gave me a pep talk in between rounds going on to the range,” he explained. “It was colourful! I honestly have been playing so good coming in here, and then I go into the first round and I shoot 75, and I’m like ‘where the hell did that come from?’

“I knew it was in there, it was just a matter of, as I said, just trusting a little more and being committed. It was better this afternoon.”

McIlroy looked all at sea with his swing on the back-nine in his first round, pulling his drive way left at the 13th and running up a bogey-six, and a tugged short-iron found the water at 16 before he did well to get up and down to limit the damage to a bogey.

“It’s funny, I’ve had so many like in‑between numbers,” he said. “Whenever I start to try to take speed off, sometimes I get the club just going left and sort of dragging it across, and that’s what happened on 16.

“Obviously we didn’t have much time in between rounds, so I went to the range and hit five nine‑irons and a three‑wood and just tried to get myself to release it. Sometimes I just get so draggy and hold on, sort of hold on to it.

“So it was just a matter of trying to release it a little bit more and being a little bit more committed to my shots and my swing. I turned it around nicely and shot a good one, at least gave myself a chance going into the weekend.

The Masters – Live

November 14, 2020, 12:30pm

Live on

Source: Read Full Article