Rory McIlroy let the gloss slip off a very respectable second round fightback in bogeying his three closing holes in a level par 72 on the second day of the PGA Championship.
After a disappointing opening round of three-over par 75, McIlroy was three-under par when he bogeyed the closing trio at Kiawah Island and his eventual level par score left him back at three-over and sharing 39th place.
McIlroy is now eight shots behind the leading duo of Phil Mickelson (69) and Louis Oosthuizen (68) who share the halfway lead at five-under par and unlike following his first round when McIlroy chose not to speak to the waiting media, he did offer some comments this time but naturally, after his finish, it was not going to be akin to a ‘fireside chat’.
“I played well. I just didn’t get a lot out of the round. Yeah, that was really it,” he said.
“I sort of kept it together, and sort of just let it go there the last three holes. I haven’t played the par-5s well this week. That’s been the big thing. If I’d have played those better, I’d have been right up there, but making five bogeys on the par-5s is not going to get it done”.
And having addressed the negatives, McIlroy was asked about the positives in his play.
“I drove the ball much better and I hit the ball much better,” he said.
“So, if I can keep doing that, just sort of try to keep the silly mistakes off the card, hopefully get out early when there’s not as much wind, and try to post a good one”.
McIlroy got his round off to a good start in holing a six-foot birdie at the first but gave the shot back with a bogey on two before two great birdies including holing a 16-footer at the par-4 sixth hole and a 26-footer at the par-4 ninth.
He then managed a fourth birdie of the round at the par-5 11th in two-putting from 41-feet for his only birdie on the Kiawah par-5s this week.
McIlroy heads out on day three alongside Canadian Adam Hadwin at 3.30pm (Irish time).