Disastrous putting sees Rory McIlroy crumble at Pebble Beach

Round of 74 included a four-putt at Monterey Peninsula as Shane Lowry also struggled

Rory McIlroy plays his shot on the 12th hole during round two of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach, California. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy plays his shot on the 12th hole during round two of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach, California. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

 

Rory McIlroy’s putter was more like a bothersome hawthorn stick in his hands rather than any magic wand as a dreadful five-putt double-bogey derailed him in the second round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where the Northern Irishman – in his seasonal debut on the PGA Tour – shot a 74 for a midway 142 (one under par) which left fighting to make the third round cut.

The world number eight sits 11 shots off the lead which is held by world number one Dustin Johnson and young American Beau Hossler at 12 under.

Cruising along at five-under for the tournament as he stood on the fifth tee – his 14th hole – of his second round at Monterrey Peninsula, McIlroy unleashed a massive drive to the 349 yards Par 4 that left him just short of the green and some 25 yards from the flag and seemingly set to embellish his challenge. The putter then became his club of choice, and it was to remain in his hands no fewer than five times as one putt after another refused to drop until his fifth attempt finally found the bottom of the tin cup.

A shell-shocked McIlroy signed for a double-bogey six on that fifth hole, failed to birdie the Par 5 sixth and then three-putted the Par 3 seventh and also three-putted the eighth to fall from a position of contention into one where he faces the danger of missing the cut heading into the third round.

The fragility of McIlroy’s putting was exposed in the second round, especially on his back nine, as he fell down the leaderboard. That horror run of double bogey-par-bogey-bogey transformed McIlroy’s round and means he will require a successful salvage operation in his third round at Pebble Beach if he is to make it into the final round.

McIlroy reacts after missing a putt on the 13th. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
McIlroy reacts after missing a putt on the 13th. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

McIlroy’s opening round 68 at Spyglass Hill had put him into a nice challenging position only for his second round travails at Monterrey Peninsula – signing for a 74 – to undo that initial good work.

Shane Lowry also had a tough day at the office, the Offalyman – who opened with a four-under 67 at Monterrey Peninsula – struggling to a second round 73 at Pebble Beach which left him on three-under 140 after two rounds but at least on course (with his third round at Spyglass Hill) to survive the cut.

The new resident in Florida had, at one stage, got to six under par and just one shot off the lead at the time but frittered it away with four bogeys between the eighth and the 15th before a birdie on the last at least put a gloss on the finish.

However, Lowry is best placed of the Irish at three under after Paul Dunne made two late bogeys to slip from two under back to level par after a round of 72 at Monterey Peninsula. The Greystones man – playing on a sponsor’s invite this week – had made three birdies in a row at the turn to get under par after two early bogeys but saw the shots slip away on the 15th and 18th.

Lowry plays his approach to the first at Pebble Beach. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Lowry plays his approach to the first at Pebble Beach. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Seamus Power has some work to do if he is to make the cut after a level par round of 72 at Pebble Beach left him at one over par for the tournament while Graeme McDowell and Pádraig Harrington sit well down the field.

McDowell – who won the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010 – opened with a round of one under par on Thursday but fell to pieces on his back nine in the second round, racking up three double bogeys and two bogeys on the way to a round of 80 at Spyglass Hill. Harrington, meanwhile, fired a four over par 75 at Pebble Beach to sit at eight over par, one shot worse off than McDowell.

But world number one Johnson was the star of the show on day two as he carded a seven under par round of 64 at Monterey Peninsula to get to 12 under and join Hossler at the top of the leaderboard.

Pebble Beach Collated Collated second round scores in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Pebble Beach GC, United States of America

Collated scores

Monterey Peninsula country club Course (71, USA unless stated):
131 Dustin Johnson 67 64
133 Julian Suri 66 67
134 Steve Stricker 69 65, Jason Day (Aus)69 65, Phil Mickelson 69 65, Kevin Streelman 65 69
135 Patrick Rodgers 70 65
136 Chris Stroud 68 68, Will Zalatoris 67 69
137 Jason Kokrak 70 67, Jimmy Walker 68 69, Matt Kuchar 66 71
138 Kevin Na 70 68, Brian Gay 69 69, Sam Saunders 72 66, Daniel Summerhays 70 68, Jonathan Randolph 69 69, Jordan Spieth 72 66
139 Nick Watney 70 69, Trey Mullinax 72 67
140 Tom Lovelady 72 68, Keith Mitchell 67 73, Billy Horschel 71 69
141 D.A. Points 70 71, Gary Woodland 69 72, Russell Knox(Sco) 71 70, Zac Blair 69 72, Kevin Chappell 73 68, Brandt Snedeker 71 70, Alex Cejka(Ger)69 72
142 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 68 74, James Hahn 74 68, William McGirt 73 69
143 Paul Dunne (Irl)71 72
144 Hunter Mahan 71 73, Maverick McNealy 74 70, Mike Weir (Can)77 67, Stuart Appleby (Aus)73 71
145 Shawn Stefani 72 73, Ernie Els (Rsa)77 68, Colt Knost 76 69, Kelly Kraft 73 72, Mackenzie Hughes (Can)71 74, Luke Donald(Eng)75 70
146 Kevin Kisner 71 75
147 Adam Scott (Aus)77 70, Kyle Thompson 72 75
148 Jerry Kelly 72 76, Andrew Yun 75 73, Cody Gribble 75 73
149 Ken Duke 79 70
153 Peter Jacobsen 78 75

Spyglass Hill GC Course (72):

132 Beau Hossler 65 67
134 Troy Merritt 67 67
137 Paul Casey (Eng) 67 70
138 Denny McCarthy 72 66, Cameron Tringale 70 68
139 Stephan Jaeger (Ger) 68 71, Robert Garrigus 70 69, Ted Potter, Jr. 68 71, Angel Cabrera(Arg) 78 61, Chez Reavie 67 72
140 JT Poston 71 69, Branden Grace (Rsa)68 72, J.B. Holmes 71 69, Ben Crane 68 72, Rob Oppenheim 67 73, Xinjun Zhang(Chn) 68 72, Sang-moon Bae (Kor)71 69, Ryan Armour 70 70
141 Ricky Barnes 70 71, Derek Fathauer 69 72, Scott Stallings 72 69, Zecheng Dou(Chn) 67 74, Patrick Reed 75 66
142 Brendon De Jonge (Zim) 69 73, Grayson Murray 74 68, Sam Ryder 73 69, Scott Piercy 71 71, Johnson Wagner 73 69
143 Joel Dahmen 71 72, J.J. Henry 71 72, Brett Stegmaier 72 71, Brice Garnett 71 72, Robert Streb 71 72
144 Vijay Singh (Fij) 75 69, Billy Hurley III 74 70, Scott Brown 73 71, George McNeill 70 74, Jonathan Byrd 73 71, Nick Taylor (Can)75 69
145 Cameron Davis (Aus)73 72, Lanto Griffin 76 69
146 Austin Cook 72 74, Tyler Duncan 72 74, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 72 74
147 Matt Jones (Aus)74 73, Tom Hoge 75 72
148 David Hearn (Can)71 77, Rick Lamb 74 74
149 Tim Herron 75 74
150 Stewart Cink 73 77, Conrad Shindler 75 75
151 Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 71 80

Pebble Beach GC Course (72):

134 Aaron Wise 65 69, Jon Rahm (Spa)67 67
135 Tyrone Van Aswegen (Rsa)67 68
136 Peter Malnati 67 69, Eric Axley 69 67
138 Cameron Percy (Aus)66 72, Pat Perez 68 70, Russell Henley 68 70, Patrick Cantlay 66 72, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa)69 69, Jonas Blixt(Swe)67 71
139 Aaron Baddeley (Aus)70 69, Sean O’Hair 69 70, Matt Atkins 72 67, Ryan Blaum 68 71, Bryson DeChambeau 70 69, Bubba Watson 68 71, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor)69 70, Brandon Harkins 68 71
140 Charley Hoffman 67 73, Vaughn Taylor 70 70, Shane Lowry (Irl)67 73, Nate Lashley 70 70, Bronson Burgoon 70 70
141 Adam Schenk 71 70, Chris Kirk 67 74, Talor Gooch 67 74, Martin Piller 68 73, Dominic Bozzelli 69 72
142 Brian Stuard 72 70, Rory Sabbatini (Rsa)68 74, Rod Pampling (Aus)69 73, Chesson Hadley 68 74
143 Ben Martin 68 75, Andrew Putnam 70 73, Corey Conners (Can)68 75, Nicholas Lindheim 68 75
144 Benjamin Silverman (Can)70 74, Jim Herman 70 74. Steve Wheatcroft 71 73, Seamus Power (Irl)72 72
145 Greg Chalmers (Aus)70 75
146 Richy Werenski 73 73, Matt Every 70 76, Charlie Beljan 72 74
149 Roberto Diaz (Mex)75 74, Derek Ernst 69 80
150 Jason Bohn 71 79
151 Padraig Harrington (Irl)75 76
153 David Solomon 74 79
155 David Duval 79 76
156 Ethan Tracy 76 80

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