McIlroy plummets in Ohio

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A disastrous six-over-par 78 saw Rory McIlroy tumble down the leaderboard on day two of the Memorial Tournament.

The Northern Irishman grabbed a three-shot first-round lead on Thursday courtesy of a superb 63, but looked a completely different player on Friday.

Most of the damage was done on the opening nine, where he bogeyed his opening hole, the par-four 10th, before parring 11 and picking the shot back up on 12.

But that would be as good as it got for McIlroy, who subsequently double-bogeyed the 13th, 14th and 15th and added another dropped shot at the 18th to suddenly find himself four shots off the lead at the turn.

That represented a 12-shot collapse on the back nine from Thursday where he had picked up two eagles, three birdies and a double bogey to record a 31.

He managed to play the back nine in a more respectable one under par, but the damage was already done and McIlroy will start the third round nine shots off Paul Casey’s lead.

“I missed fairways, that was a big thing, I didn’t realise how thick the rough was until I got into it today,” McIlroy said.

“Obviously that three-hole stretch, 13, 14, 15, didn’t help. Take those three holes out of it and it wouldn’t actually have been that bad a day.

“It’s not disastrous even though I had such a bad day.”

There were fears a left knee problem that seemed to trouble him on Thursday took its toll on Friday, but McIlroy said it wasn’t the reason for his poor round.

“The knee’s OK. It was a little bit sore this morning on the range but out on the course it was fine, the painkillers kicked in. I felt it a little bit but it didn’t really bother me too much.”

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