McIlroy rallies on challenging day

After facing the real prospect of a missed cut, Rory McIlroy rallied to finish inside the top 10 at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday.

Swirling winds and intermittent rain made for difficult early scoring conditions, and McIlroy was staring down the barrel after covering the front nine of his second round in three over par.

Bogeys at the second and third were followed by a birdie at the long fifth, but a near-disastrous double-bogey was to follow on the par-3 seventh after he fluffed a bunker shot.

That left McIlroy one under for the tournament and in real danger of missing the cut, but the Northern Irishman rallied beautifully after the turn, starting off with his second eagle of the week at the par-5 12th.

Another bogey followed at 13, but McIlroy would play his final four holes in three under, picking up birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to post a 71 that left him on five under par – good enough for tied sixth place as he completed his round on a day when precious few players were able to make any significant gains.

“I did not start off particularly well and made a mess of the seventh, but came back well and hit some quality shots on the back nine,” said McIlroy.

“Anything under par this morning was a decent score and to birdie three of the last four holes is pretty pleasing.”

After announcing on Wednesday that he had called off his planned November wedding to former world number one tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, McIlroy admitted that it would be tough to lift himself for the challenge at Wentworth this week, but he has performed well under the circumstances and said he was feeling better on Friday.

“I was apprehensive going out yesterday, I honestly didn’t know what to expect and it was good I had the quick turnaround to get back on the golf course,” he said.

“I have exceeded my expectations so far. Once you get inside the ropes you are concentrating on your golf and it’s almost a nice four or five-hour release to concentrate on the job at hand.”