Frustrating day sees McIlroy slip back at Canadian Open

Mark McGowan

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Rory McIlroy’s quest for a third Canadian Open title appears to be on the rocks after the world number three and pre-tournament favourite carded a two-over 72 in round two to slip back into a tie for 30th.

A little out of sorts all day, McIlroy managed to par his opening six holes without having a decent look at birdie, but a wayward tee shot on seven lead to his first bogey. After a perfect drive on 10, with just 77 yards to the flag, his approach came up about two yards short of the ridge just short of the flag and starting edging back towards the false front, picking up speed and finally coming to a stop 50 yards away from the flag. He couldn’t get up and down so slipped back to -2.

Another huge drive on 12 – 342 yards to be exact – saw him wedge close to finally open his birdie account, but a pulled tee shot on the par-3 13th and heavy-handed chip saw him immediately give the shot back.

He’d par his way to the last and looked set to drop another shot after finding the fairway bunker and only being able to advance the ball 40 feet, leaving over 200 yards to the flag from the rough. His approach was good, but still 28 feet from the hole. Having made nothing all day, he finally rolled in a lengthy putt to save his par and remain in with an outside chance of claiming his fourth win of 2024.

Earlier in the day, Shane Lowry shot a two-under 68 to move inside the cutline. Two birdies and two bogeys on his opening nine – he started on the 10th – left him with work to do, but three birdies and a bogey in his opening four holes on the front side were enough to move him back the right side of the mark and he then faced a long wait to see whether his tally would be enough for a weekend tee time.

It would, and he made the cut on the number, but unfortunately for Seamus Power who’d matched Lowry’s opening 72, his second-round 71 saw him come up three short.

Robert MacIntyre followed his opening 64 with a second-round 66 to move to -10 and post -10 and hit the front in the early wave. The Scottish PGA Tour rookie was eventually joined by fellow DP World Tour graduate Ryan Fox, who birdied the last for a 64.

“To be honest it’s just spending 36 holes with my dad,” said MacIntyre, whose father is moonlighting as his caddie for the week. “First time on the bag on a proper tournament. We’re just kind of learning on the run — well, he is, he’s learning on the run and I’m kind of trying to stay as calm as I can. When I do miss a shot, I’m not trying to get too annoyed. Yeah, we’re just trying to have as much fun as we can.”

Joel Dahmen is one further adrift at -8, with Andrew Novak, Mackenzie Hughes, who shot a best of the day six-under much to the delight of the home fans, and David Skinns occupying a tie for fourth at -7.


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