Rory McIlroy stalls in second round at Travelers Championship

After an opening 64 the four-time Major winner now sits three shots off the lead

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his second shot on the 13th hole as Justin Thomas walks by during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his second shot on the 13th hole as Justin Thomas walks by during the second round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

 

After shaking off his US Open blues with an opening round of 64 at the Travelers Championship, Rory McIlroy stalled on day two as a one under par round of 69 saw him slip three shots behind second round leader Bryan Harman.

The four-time Major winner spoke on Thursday about how he’s trying to get back to swinging the club as he did in 2010 and 2011 but on Friday that wasn’t quite working out.

“I’m trying to get back to the way I swung in sort of 2010, 2011,” McIlroy said.

“It’s sort of hard because my body has changed quite a bit since then and the feelings I have. But the feeling I have right now is the feeling I had in the middle of 2009. So it’s just trying to go back, and, okay, I was swinging it really well then. What was I doing? What was I thinking about? What was the focus on the swing? Just trying to rack your brain to recreate feelings that you had back then.”

Starting at the 10th McIlroy began slower than he did in the first round with five pars in a row which included a very frustrating three-putt at the Par 5 13th.

After hitting the green in two from 204 yards, McIlroy sent his eagle putt four feet past and missed the birdie putt coming back.

At the 14th another missed birdie putt slipped by the edge and the old woes on the greens were starting to rear their head again.

But a first birdie of the day did follow at the Par 4 15th after McIlroy almost drove the green and then got up and down to move to seven under.

However, another short missed birdie putt came his way at the Par 3 16th – this time after a stunning tee shot in to six feet – and that was followed by three more pars to close out a front nine of 34 – one under par.

Another birdie at the second moved the Northern Irishman into a tie for the lead at eight under but after that the round went flat, leaving McIlroy frustrated as he finished with seven pars and a bogey at his 16th hole to sign for a 69 that could have been so much better.

He now sits three shots off Harman who carded a round of 66 to add to his opening 64, getting him to 10 under.

However, overnight joint leader Spieth, also starting on the back nine, came unstuck in spectacular fashion at the 523-yard 13th after driving out of bounds and then hitting his approach into the greenside lake to card a triple-bogey eight.

He was in the water again at the 15th on his way to a bogey five which dropped him to three under but rescued his round with an eagle at the par-five sixth hole having hit his approach inside two feet to close with a 73 and finish four under.

Pádraig Harrington was out in the afternoon wave of players and he got off to the perfect start with a birdie at the 10th – his first hole – to get to five under.

A bogey at the 12th saw him fall back but another birdie at the Par 3 16th – his seventh – moved him to within five of the lead as he approached his back nine.

Harrington dropped a shot on the 18th but took that straight back on the par four first - his 10th hole.

He then made par on every hole on his way home - signing for a one under par 69 to sit at five under for the tournament, five shots off the lead.

Meanwhile, Waterford’s Séamus Power battled hard to sign for a three under par round of 67 to move to the same score for the tournament and inside the cut mark.

Five birdies and two bogeys were enough to get Power into the weekend and in line for a much-needed good finish to move him up the FedEx Cup rankings.

Collated scores

USPGA Tour Travelers Championship (USA unless stated, par 70):

(a) denotes amateurs
130 Brian Harman 64 66
131 Zach Johnson 63 68, Matt Jones (Aus) 65 66, Russell Henley66 65
132 Beau Hossler 65 67, Paul Casey (Eng) 65 67, Bryson DeChambeau66 66
133 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 64 69, Bubba Watson 70 63, Lanto Griffin70 63
134 Jason Day (Aus) 66 68, J.B. Holmes 66 68, Steve Marino 66 68, Ryan Blaum69 65, David Lingmerth(Swe)67 67, Anirban Lahiri(Ind)67 67
135 Danny Lee (Nzl) 67 68, Justin Thomas 66 69, Charley Hoffman69 66, Scott Stallings 68 67, Kevin Tway71 64, Mackenzie Hughes(Can) 67 68, J.J. Spaun68 67, Padraig Harrington(Irl)66 69
136 Peter Malnati 64 72, Kyle Stanley 67 69, Stewart Cink68 68, Si Woo Kim(Kor) 66 70, Emiliano Grillo(Arg)69 67, Hunter Mahan 68 68, J.J. Henry68 68, John Huh66 70, Jordan Spieth63 73
137 Scott Brown 68 69, (a) Nick Hardy 69 68, Patrick Cantlay69 68, Adam Hadwin(Can) 68 69, Brett Stegmaier70 67, Jamie Lovemark 68 69, Seamus Power(Irl)70 67, Chase Seiffert 66 71, Richy Werenski68 69, Ethan Tracy 68 69, Tom Lovelady70 67, Patrick Rodgers 69 68, Kevin Streelman68 69, Brooks Koepka 68 69, James Hahn70 67, Tyler Duncan68 69, Blayne Barber 68 69, Russell Knox(Sco)73 64, Cameron Tringale72 65
138 Vaughn Taylor 66 72, Martin Flores 68 70, Kyle Thompson71 67, Kelly Kraft 66 72, James Driscoll66 72, Steve Wheatcroft 68 70, Daniel Berger67 71, Wesley Bryan70 68, Ken Duke 70 68, Martin Laird(Sco)67 71, Dominic Bozzelli 74 64, Sam Ryder68 70, Sam Saunders72 66, Fabian Gomez(Arg) 71 67, Alex Cejka(Ger)67 71, Keegan Bradley 68 70, Billy Hurley III71 67, Trey Mullinax 67 71, Denny McCarthy70 68, Ryan Armour 67 71, Keith Mitchell70 68, Brandon Harkins72 66

The following players below did not make the cut:

139 Luke List 72 67, Nick Watney 71 68, Harold Varner III70 69, Nicholas Lindheim 68 71, Chez Reavie67 72, Tom Hoge71 68, Brendan Steele 67 72, Joel Dahmen70 69, Abraham Ancer(Mex) 67 72, Ted Potter, Jr.68 71, Corey Conners(Can) 70 69, Patrick Reed72 67
140 Pat Perez 69 71, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 72 68, Xander Schauffele67 73, Geoff Ogilvy(Aus) 68 72, William McGirt68 72, Bronson Burgoon 70 70, Robert Streb73 67, Ben Martin75 65, Bob Estes 69 71, Ollie Schniederjans74 66, Bill Haas 69 71, Matt Atkins71 69, Rod Pampling(Aus) 72 68, Billy Horschel72 68, Ryan Moore68 72
141 Austin Cook 68 73, Chesson Hadley 73 68, Jim Furyk 69 72, Rob Oppenheim71 70, Marc Leishman(Aus) 74 67, Cheng-Tsung Pan(Tpe)71 70, Jhonattan Vegas(Ven) 73 68, Jonathan Byrd70 71, Jon Curran72 69
142 Brian Stuard 70 72, Chris Stroud 70 72, Benjamin Silverman(Can)71 71, Robert Garrigus 74 68, Roberto Diaz(Mex)72 70, Conrad Shindler 69 73, D.A. Points70 72, Derek Fathauer 69 73, Michael Kim69 73, Brice Garnett70 72
143 Adam Schenk 75 68, Shawn Stefani 72 71, Patton Kizzire73 70, Andrew Svoboda74 69
144 Kris Blanks 71 73, Jason Kokrak 66 78, Tyrone Van Aswegen(Rsa)72 72, Shane Bertsch 71 73, Troy Merritt72 72
145 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 72 73, Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 72 73, Xinjun Zhang(Chn)70 75, Zecheng Dou(Chn)74 71, Dylan Meyer 70 75, Brandt Snedeker71 74, Nick Taylor(Can) 72 73, Webb Simpson68 77
146 JT Poston 70 76, Chad Campbell 75 71, Will Claxton 73 73, Rick Lamb69 77
147 Talor Gooch 74 73, Andrew Yun 71 76
148 Retief Goosen (Rsa) 75 73, Andrew Landry 81 67, Matt Every73 75, Doug Ghim (a) 78 70, Harris English68 80, Jonas Blixt(Swe)75 7
149 Ryan Palmer 71 78
150 Sung Kang (Kor) 78 72, Jonathan Randolph 74 76
151 Martin Piller 77 74
152 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 72 80
154 Adam D’Amario 75 79
158 Smylie Kaufman 80 78

Cut to take place at end of Round 2 for scores of no more than 138

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