Rory McIlroy revives Irish Open bid with second-round 67
A day after describing his game as being stuck in neutral, Rory McIlroy moved through the gears to get back into contention for a second victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
McIlroy added a second round of 67 to his opening 72 at Mount Juliet for a halfway total of five under par, five shots off the clubhouse lead held by England’s Dale Whitnell, who carded a second successive 67.
And the four-time major winner was rightfully somewhat disappointed not to have fared even better after covering his first 10 holes in five under before finishing with eight straight pars.
“I got off to a better start and once you do that, you make a couple of birdies early, you start to feel like you can make a few more,” said McIlroy, who started on the back nine and birdied the 10th, 12th, 15th and 17th to be out in 32 before picking up another shot on the first.
“The greens were much better this morning than they were yesterday afternoon as well so it felt a little easier to hole putts and that’s really what I did.
“Everything was just a little bit better today and it just added up to a better score. It could have been a little better than what it was, playing the two par fives in even par on the front nine. I missed a couple of chances too, but it was better.”
McIlroy initially had a poor record in the Irish Open and missed the cut for three years in succession from 2013-15 before winning at the K Club in 2016 and donating the prize money to his foundation, which was hosting the event.
“It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me,” the 32-year-old added.
“I definitely feel the support more than the expectation (now) and it makes it easier not living here any more, just separating myself from it all and coming back and just really enjoying the week has made a difference as well.”
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.
Rory McIlroy edges ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in race to be European number one
McIlroy’s third round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship put him back ahead of his rival in the rankings.
Lydia Ko firms lead for biggest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old turned a one-shot lead into a five-shot edge as she chased down the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Matt Fitzpatrick leading race to become European number one
Rory McIlroy gave the Yorkshireman something to think about with a late blitz.
Lydia Ko in the lead for largest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old finished seven-under 65 in her bid to win the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.