Rory McIlroy can’t do right for doing wrong on frustrating day in the Bahamas

McIlroy lies four shots off leader Bryson DeChambeau after carding 71

Rory McIlroy chips on to the second green  during the second round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course in Nassau. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy chips on to the second green during the second round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course in Nassau. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

 

Sometimes it’s hard to do right for doing wrong. Rory McIlroy endured one of those days in the second round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas, where his exasperated look after an over-hit approach shot to the 18th hole of his second round again had him second guessing himself in reaching for a yardage book as if he’d been given the wrong formula.

The simple math told McIlroy he’d 163 yards to the pin but his 9-iron approach overshot the green into a waste area and the resultant bogey – he failed to find the green with his recovery pitch – meant his round of six birdies, a double-bogey and three bogeys left him signing for a 71 for seven-under-par 137 which left him four shots adrift of midway leader Bryson DeChambeau.

McIlroy, who had started the second round of this unofficial tournament on the PGA Tour of just 20 players in a share of the lead, lacked the consistency of his opening day’s work. He started with a bogey and turned in level par on his round but his round fell apart with a series of mistakes on the drivable par four 14th – measuring just 290 yards – where he needed to hole a five-footer for a double-bogey six.

In tied-eighth through 36 holes and four shots adrift of DeChambeau, McIlroy will need to find more consistency over the weekend if he is to make an impact before settling into his winter break.

DeChambeau – despite a double-bogey six on the 16th after a wild drive left – shot a second-round 64 to claim the midway lead on 11-under-par 133, a stroke clear of a trio of players that featured Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka.

That double was the only flaw for DeChambeau in an impressive round which saw him claim no fewer than 10 birdies – on the first, sixth, seventh, ninth, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th holes – to claim the outright lead.

Morikawa has the chance to move to world number one with a win in the Bahamas, something he became aware of after winning the Race to Dubai when he noticed a post from world ranking guru Nosferatu on Twitter.

As the American put if of seeing the Irish-based Twitter handle’s account, “Nosferatu on Twitter posted a bunch of things that we all follow. I saw what happened, I saw the scenarios. And I’m going to keep saying it, that I just have to focus on trying to win this week and if it does, I know it’s going to happen.”

Of what he need to do to keep his momentum going, Morikawa observed: “The putting feels good, which is great. I’ve just got to keep that up and just hit some good shots and get it in the fairways a little more often for these last two days.”

Koepka put together back-to-back 67s to join Morikawa on the 134 mark: “I need a good week here. It was just more for my own sanity I think than anything because I was driving myself nuts, but yeah, I need a good week.”

The biggest move of the second round was made by Sam Burns who shot a 65 for 136 to move into a share of sixth place. “I got a new golf ball in play this week, the new Chrome Soft X and it’s been really, really good. It seems to be better in the wind than the previous one I was playing. I love it so far,” said Burns.

Leaderboard

USA unless stated, par 72

133 Bryson DeChambeau 69 64

134 Tony Finau 68 66, Brooks Koepka 67 67, Collin Morikawa 68 66

136 Sam Burns 71 65, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 69 67

135 Daniel Berger 66 69

137 Viktor Hovland (Nor) 68 69, Rory McIlroy (N Irl) 66 71, Patrick Reed 68 69

139 Scottie Scheffler 71 68, Webb Simpson 67 72, Justin Thomas 67 72, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 66 73

140 Xander Schauffele 70 70

141 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 70, Justin Rose (Eng) 71 70

143 Jordan Spieth 71 72

145 Harris English 75 70

147 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 72 75

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