Open door closing on McIlroy
Golf:Rory McIlroy hung in through a difficult second round to give himself an outside chance of launching a weekend surge to his first British Open title. The world number two, who had opened with a 67, double-bogeyed the ninth hole as he struggled to a five-over-par 75 in conditions that appeared not to be too difficult.
His two-over total of 142 should just be enough for McIlroy to make the cut.
"It wasn't the best day out there," he told reporters. "I was doing pretty well just to hang in there around par on the front nine. Making a double on the ninth there was sort of the turning point in the round and I couldn't really recover from that."
McIlroy, who did manage two early birdies, said he was unable to commit fully to his shots. "I was in two minds a few times about what shots to hit off tees," the 23-year-old said. "That's just something I'll need to improve on tomorrow, just really commit to it and try to get the ball in the fairway."
Brandt Snedeker tore up the course to reach 10 under par but McIlroy believes he can still win the tournament.
"Obviously Snedeker is a little bit ahead at the minute but I feel like if I can maybe get it back to where I was at the start of the day today I think I'd still have a great chance," said the 2011 US Open champion. "It's just tough when you're really trying to get something going and it's just not quite happening. You're sort of just trying to force it a little bit."
McIlroy did avoid inflicting any more damage on the crowds after an errant drive in the first round left a spectator with a heavily bandaged head. He paid for the young fan and his friend to stay the night in a hotel rather than the tent they had planned to sleep in.
"I thought it was the least I could do," McIlroy said."I didn't want him sleeping the night in a tent when he's got a massive gash on the side of his head. I gave them a bit of cash to go for a bit of food last night. If someone gave me a big hole in my head, I wouldn't be too happy."