Masters day two: Tough battle lies ahead for Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy was faced with an uphill task on day two of the Masters after England’s Paul Casey set an impressive clubhouse target at Augusta National.
Casey fired an eagle and five birdies in a flawless 65 to lead by two shots from Webb Simpson and Xander Schauffele, with defending champion Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood part of a five-strong group on four under.
A weather delay of almost three hours meant most of the later starters were unable to finish their first round on schedule, with Justin Thomas reaching five under par after 10 holes before play was suspended due to the fading light.
McIlroy had covered the front nine in level par and faced a bunker shot on the 10th when play resumed.
Tweet of the day
Jason Kokrak was unlucky to find the water on the 15th, but at least Lee Westwood showed him where the ball had gone in.
Quote of the day
“I’ve got rubber things inside here to stop the shirt coming out, and when I wear braces the shirt doesn’t come out, so that’s it. I don’t use it for a fashion parade” – Sandy Lyle explains his decision to wear braces.
Shot of the day
Former champion Patrick Reed looked to be in trouble after a wayward drive on the ninth, only to produce a magical escape to set up a birdie.
Round of the day
Nineteen months after an opening round of 81, Paul Casey improved by 16 shots with a flawless 65.
Statistic of the day
It is tough for Tiger Woods to break new ground at this stage of his career, but the 44-year-old managed it with a bogey-free 68.
The par-five second hole played to an average of 4.500 with 36 players making birdie and clubhouse leader Paul Casey one of four players to make an eagle.
Casey also birdied the 10th, his opening hole, but overall that played the toughest, with 23 bogeys and two double bogeys contributing to an average of 4.265.
On the up
Paul Casey’s prospects of a first major title after the 43-year-old carded a superb 65, a 16-shot improvement on his opening round last year.
On the slide
Rory McIlroy’s chances of the victory needed to complete the career grand slam after a front nine of 36 left him with plenty of work to do.
Graeme Storm recalls ‘surreal’ US PGA adventure after battle with Rory McIlroy
His famous victory over McIlroy came on the third extra hole in the 2017 South African Open in Johannesburg
Lee Kyoung-Hoon shoots his lowest round on the tour to retain Texas title
Dallas-born Jordan Spieth went close with a chip for eagle on the 18th which would have forced a play-off.
Sam Horsfield ‘so happy’ after winning Soudal Open to secure another title
Horsfield overcame overnight leader Ryan Fox in a thrilling final-round battle.
Justin Rose still has drive to succeed as ‘exciting challenge’ of US PGA arrives
Rose won the US Open in 2013 and Olympic gold in Rio three years later, but has not tasted victory since February 2019.
Tiger Woods will expect to do better at US PGA Championship – Curtis Strange
Woods returned to top-level action after a long injury absence with a 47th-placed finished at the Masters.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson withdraws from US PGA Championship
The six-time major winner has been taking a break from golf.
Jordan Spieth looking for career grand slam at US PGA Championship
The presence or absence of defending champion Phil Mickelson which will dominate the conversation at Southern Hills.
We’ve got your back – Greg Norman promises to defend players on breakaway tour
Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood are among the professionals to have asked for the required release to play the first event at Centurion Club.