Rory McIlroy relieved to make weekend’s action
Former world number one saved par at the last to card a 77 and finish on four over at Augusta
Rory McIlroy walks out of the azaleas behind the 13th green during the second round of the 2014 Masters at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy admits he will need something ‘phenomenal’ to catch Bubba Watson. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy had quite the ride in his second round of the 78th Masters here at Augusta National and survived to tell the tale – if only barely! The 24-year-old Ulsterman moved into the weekend with absolutely nothing left to spare, holding his nerve to sink a four-footer for par on the 18th hole to ensure his survival.
An adventurous round which saw McIlroy incur two double-bogeys – on the fourth and 10th – ended with him exhaling a deep sigh of relief as a 77 for 148, four over par, got him into the final 36-holes on the cut line, 11 shots adrift of leader Bubba Watson who carded a 68 to add to Thursday’s 69.
“It will take something phenomenal, to shoot something in the mid-60s, and get myself back under par going into the last day,” McIlroy conceded.
The two-time Major champion had a round that was more like one from the Phil Mickelson of old.
On the par-three fourth hole, McIlroy very nearly hit Adam Scott – standing on the fifth tee – when a shift in the wind meant he overhit his tee-shot and the ball flew into the trees. McIlroy considered attempting a recovery shot from the foliage but was persuaded by his caddie JP Fitzgerald to return to the tee. He ran up a double-bogey five.
“It was into the wind, and it was a perfect little sort of a cut 5-wood. The wind laid down a little bit before I was about to hit it, so I backed off and then I felt it again. So I went into it and hit the shot that I wanted to. It was all over the pin, it was just 30 yards too long. I had a big wind switch there.”
And on the 10th hole, where his quest for a green jacket first came to grieve in the final round of 2011 Masters, McIlroy overshot the green into bushes and ran up another double bogey.
It could have been even worse for. On the par-five 13th, with only a nine-iron in his hands for the approach, McIlroy’s second shot hit a greenside water sprinkler. The ball bounced on into the azaleas behind the green and McIlroy managed to punch the recovery towards the green. He eventually signed for a bogey six there which dropped him to four-over for the championship and left him hanging on, that par putt on the 18th ensuring his presence into the weekend.
“I didn’t know what that putt on the last was, to make the cut. But when I got into the scoring area and saw that I was in 46th place, it was a bit of a sigh of relief that I’m here for the weekend,” said McIlroy.
“I’m just not getting anything out of my game at the moment, “ added McIlroy. “I’m driving the ball as well as I ever have. And that should be giving me opportunities to score a bit better. But I just haven’t quite been able to get on a run . . . I’m trying to shoot two really low rounds and see where that puts me at the end of the week.”