McIlroy struggles in Egypt

Lee Slattery holds the halfway lead in the Egyptian Open where Rory McIlroy has slipped 10 shots off the pace.

Rory McIlroy continued the fight against his own swing at the Egyptian Open presented by SODIC but he won the battle to survive the halfway cut in the land of the pyramids after posting a disappointing second round of two over par 74 to lie ten shots off the halfway lead.

The World Number Nine, lying one over for the tournament, refused to blame the difficult, blustery conditions at the JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Club for his poor scoring, instead confessing that he has just not played well enough to come close to leader Lee Slattery of England and the rest of the low scoring Challenge Tour Members in Cairo.

Having begun his second round early on Thursday, McIlroy looked as though he may flirt with the missing the halfway cut when he signed his scorecard but he ended the day making it by two strokes, in a tie for 42nd place, as the cut line was drawn at three over.

“It was windy enough – quite tricky out there but it was really much the same as yesterday and I couldn’t really get anything going,” said McIlroy, who made just one birdie during his second round.

“I’m not hitting it great to be honest with you. It’s just one of those things. It’s not what I came to do but if I’m going into the weekend eight shots behind that wouldn’t be too bad. I’d take that.

“There’s definitely a good score out there but I need to be making some good golf swings. I mean I hit a really nice tee shot on the tenth and left myself 104 yards to the pin and I missed the green by about ten yards to the left – it’s stuff like that which is the most frustrating element to it.

“I’m trying to get my swing back to how it was in the middle of the year – it’s kind of got away from me basically so I have to persevere with it. I wanted to play well this week and with two rounds left I still have a chance of doing that. I just have to keep plugging away.”

Slattery, a former Challenge Tour Number One, put together a brilliant second round six under par in the tough conditions to post a leading score of nine under 135 to establish a one stroke lead over Italian Alessandro Tadini Scotsman Scotland’s George Murray, who carded respective second rounds of 71 and 69 to remain well in the hunt for the US$40,000 first prize.