After getting it to -3 in the early stages of round one, Rory McIlroy ended the day at -1, and there was a touch of dejá vu about round two as the freshly crowned Race to Dubai champion and world number two again made early-round headway at the DP World Tour Championship before scrappy play on the closing nine saw him fall back to -1 for the tournament and level-par on the day.
“Yeah, sort of similar to yesterday,” he conceded after the round. “I got off to a decent start again. A couple under through nine and then yeah, just some loose shots coming in. I was sort of — I hit a putt on 11 that I was a little aggressive with and missed the one coming back.
“Yeah, just didn’t — I was trying to make some birdies on the back nine and get something going and I couldn’t. I was just stuck in neutral all day.”
Whilst he was the recipient of extreme good fortune on the closing hole on day one, the golfing gods got their dues in round two as his long approach to the last was under-hit and pulled, this time finding the watery grave that he inexplicably avoided the day previous.
Still, with a dozen competitive rounds of 66 or better in his professional career at the Earth Course, even though he’s 10 shots back from leader Nicolai Hojgaard and eight shots back from the chasing pack, he’s not discounting his chances just yet.
“Yeah, I do,” he replied when asked if he felt that there was a low round in him. “I do feel there is. I hit eight out of nine greens on the front nine and I played nicely and I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday. There is a low one out there and obviously I’m going to need a low one to get myself back in the tournament.”