2020 Masters: From WTH to 66, Rory McIlroy still has a chance at this Masters

by 24USATVNov. 14, 2020, 1 a.m. 21
-

AUGUSTA, Ga. – There wasn’t much time for Rory McIlroy to regroup after an opening 75 at the Masters.

Enough time to hit five 9-irons and a 3-wood on the range.

Oh, and enough time to receive a pep talk from Jimmy Dunne, his longtime friend and an Augusta National member.

Whatever was said, it worked. McIlroy matched the round of the day Friday with a second-round 66, not just extending his stay at Augusta National but at least giving himself a chance, however slim, of capturing that elusive final leg of the career Grand Slam. At 3-under 141, he’ll begin the weekend six shots off the lead, but outside the top 25.

“I honestly have been playing so good coming in here, and then I go into the first round and I shoot 75, and I’m like, Where the hell did that come from?” McIlroy said. “I knew it was in there; it was just a matter of trying a little more and being committed.”

When play resumed at 7:30 a.m. Friday, McIlroy was even par and had nine holes to play. He had high hopes: A back-nine rally to get back in the mix, then keep rolling into the second round after a 30-minute break.

McIlroy failed to get up-and-down from the greenside bunker on 10. Then he uncorked a wild snap hook on the par-5 13th, his ball sailing deep into the azaleas. He took an unplayable lie and hacked back into the fairway, making a bogey on the second-easiest hole on the course.

It got even worse a few holes later, when McIlroy dragged his club left through impact on 16 and pulled his tee shot into the water. He was fortunate to escape with only a bogey.

Though he was able to hit just a few balls in between rounds – and get an earful from Dunne – McIlroy trusted himself and swung with more commitment in the second round. The result was a bogey-free 66, tied for the lowest score of the day.

“I was thinking coming into this morning: Play the last few holes in 3 or 4 under par, get in and then go again, and I did the complete opposite,” he said. “That wasn’t ideal, and obviously wasn’t what I was thinking of. I turned it around nicely and shot a good one. At least gave myself a chance going into the weekend.”

It was also the second time in McIlroy’s career that he’s had at least a nine-shot turnaround at the Masters. He went 79-69 on the weekend in 2013.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Broadway Will Perform at the 2020 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, 9 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Barca rest Messi for UCL clash to 'protect' him

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, 9 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

52 shot, 6 fatally in Chicago this weekend

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, 2 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

103 Seconds to Go. Is Patrick Mahomes the Quarterback? No Problem

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, 2 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

NBA: LA Lakers, Marc Gasol 'reach 2-year contract'

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, noon2
HOT TRENDS

Colts Topple Packers In Overtime Thriller

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, 9:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

New Orleans Saints plug, play and dominate Atlanta in 24-9 victory

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, 9:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

The Undertaker's Legacy Defined by Captivation and Respect

by 24USATVNov. 23, 2020, 9:01 a.m.2