Monday 18 December 2017

shocked mcilroy targets recovery

Ulsterman rues nightmare Friday in Aderdeen

Rory McIlroy admitted he was shell-shocked after another frightful Friday saw him tumble down the leaderboard in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

McIlroy (pictured) set a new course record of 64 at Royal Aberdeen on Thursday, but as the wind changed direction so did the former world number one, who stumbled to a 78 that had him battling to make the halfway cut.

His first-round scoring average of just under 68 leads the PGA Tour but his second-round average is almost five shots worse, with rounds of 63 and 78 in the Memorial Tournament the worst example of a worrying trend and part of a run of shooting 40 or more for nine holes in four straight events in America.

McIlroy needed another 40 shots to cover the back nine in Aberdeen and had to save par from greenside bunkers on the 17th and 18th to make sure of being here for the weekend.

"It's been the case all year. I've got off to great starts and fell away but I am still in the tournament and I can go out in the morning and try to get some of those shots back," the 
25-year-old said. "You are having to talk about it (his Friday performances) so it's in your mind and I am maybe putting more pressure on myself to shoot a good score. It's another Friday out of the way, thank God, and I can go on to the weekend. I shot 68 on the Friday at the US Open so hopefully next week will be the same."

Asked if he was shell-shocked, McIlroy added: "Yeah, because when I went to the gym in the morning the wind didn't seem as strong as it is now so I wasn't expecting this. Everything was tougher."


In contrast, Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose went from woeful on Wednesday to title contender on Friday, carding a 68 to finish five under par and just one off the clubhouse 
lead shared by Scotland's Marc Warren and Swede Kristoffer Broberg.

Shane Lowry dealt much better with the conditions, carding a second-round 68 to end up two under par, where he was joined by Michael Hoey, who shot a second round of 74. Kevin Phelan and Darren Clarke ended the day level with McIlroy after second rounds of 73, and Damien McGrane and Pádraig Harrington were a shot further back after second rounds of 72.

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