Rory hopes to claw his way back into contention
Rory McIlroy heads into the third round of The 145th Open at Royal Troon eight shots behind Phil Mickelson but optimistic he can still close the gap.
The former World No. 1 was out in the worst of the weather yesterday afternoon but a battling level par 71 saw him finish on two under par 140 and still in touch of the leading group with 36-holes left to play.
“I’m quite happy with my two rounds of golf,” confirmed McIlroy, who won The Open two years ago at Hoylake but then missed last year’s Championship after injuring his ankle while playing football with his friends.
“I feel like I’ve played very well. I had a bad run around the turn, when I missed two short putts in a row on 9 and 10, but I held it together nicely coming home and played the last five holes at one under par.
“I’m not going to let being on the wrong side of the draw ruin my mood or ruin my week,” he added. “I got the good end of the draw at the last Open I played, but not so much this time. That happens in The Open and you’ve just got to get on with it.”
McIlroy’s goal on what is traditionally known as ‘Moving Day’ is to claw his way back in touch with the leaders but he knows it will not be easy.
“I feel like it’s possible,” he said. “There are 36 holes to go and I’m trying to remain as optimistic as I can.
“Obviously, the guys at the top of the leaderboard at playing very well,” he added. “I had a chance to watch Phil (Mickelson) yesterday afternoon and this morning and it’s the best I’ve seen him play in a long, long time. His swing’s good and he’s got his ball flight under control. He seems like he’s putting well too.
“Henrik and the guys are all up there as well, they’re all going to be tough to beat but I’ve given people head starts before and been able to win. I’m just doing to try to draw on those memories and give it a go.”
McIlroy starts his third round at 1.40pm partnered by KT Kim.