Cometh the hour, cometh the man! That was the feeling when we rose this morning nice and early here in Augusta. With starting times pushed back 30 minutes to counter incoming inclement weather we were keen to watch Rory McIlroy strut his stuff and get in before the weather kicked off in the afternoon!
Well, the weather siren to halt play came just as he made his way to the score recorders office, but other than that everything else went awry. Best laid plans and all that.
McIlroy got off to a decent start with a huge drive on the first and a second shot below the hole – 2 putts followed for par. Not too bad, not fabulous, but we’ll take it.
Unfortunately that was almost as good as it got for McIIroy as he went bogey, bogey on 2 and 3 before overshooting the green on 4. Another bogey came on the par-3 6th after a poor tee shot followed by an overzealous first putt left him with a lot to do and he rolled the next one 2 feet by the hole.
Yet another bogey was on the cards on the par-4 7th as he drove it left into the trees, laid up short of the green before chipping and two-putting from around 20 feet.
To say the mood wasn’t good at that point would be an understatement and it felt like all his get up and go, got up and left after a poor second shot on 8 left him short left of the green. One flop shot and a lip-out later came the first of three successive pars. Some relief at last.
Unfortunately a bogey on 11 after a pulled second shot found the water to the left of the green was then followed by two birdies on 13 and 15 but, with the cut line in sight, bogeys on 16 and 18 saw him sign for a 5-over par 77 and a 5-over par total which, even with the weather moving in is three shots over the projected cut line.
And so another year of, ‘Will he, won’t he’ ends with ‘No he won’t’, but there is nothing surer than we’ll all be talking about the career grand slam again in 2024 and hopefully McIlroy can roar, rather than whimper around Augusta National.
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