Rory McIlroy scrambles to stay in contention at US PGA Championship

Home > Tours > DP World Tour > Rory McIlroy scrambles to stay in contention at US PGA Championship
McIlroy is five off the lead shared by Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Rory McIlroy admitted he was tempted to throw caution to the wind after surprisingly finding himself in contention for a third US PGA title at Oak Hill.

Despite continuing to struggle off the tee, McIlroy carded a second round of 69 for a halfway total of level par to lie just five off the lead shared by Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland.

First round leader Bryson DeChambeau and fellow American Justin Suh were two shots off the lead, with England’s Callum Tarren – who only secured a place in the field on Friday after former champion Martin Kaymer withdrew – another stroke back after a superb 67.

Masters runner-up Brooks Koepka was alongside Tarren on two under thanks to a 66 which included four birdies in the last seven holes.

Justin Rose hit just two fairways but somehow conjured up a second round of 70 to lie one under, with McIlroy and former Open champion Shane Lowry on level par.

Lowry had stormed into contention with six birdies in the space of eight holes before dropping shots on the 17th and 18th in his 67.

McIlroy was among the later starters who took advantage of unexpectedly calm conditions and a course softened by several rain showers to cover his last 10 holes in three under par.

“I need to be patient the way I’m hitting it off the tee,” McIlroy said. “I stayed really patient and I think it was rewarded with a couple of breaks and birdies towards the end.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy greets fans on the sixth hole during the second round of the US PGA Championship (Seth Wenig/AP)

“I think with how terribly I’ve felt over the ball, the fact I am only five back… I’m not saying it could be up there with one of my best performances but when I holed that (birdie) putt on the last I thought I can’t believe I’m only five back.

“If I can get the ball in play off the tee I’ll have a shot and at this point I might just tee it high and bomb it everywhere. I may as well just swing it hard and go for it.”

World number one Jon Rahm shot 68 to make the halfway cut on four over par, but playing partner and US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick bogeyed the last two holes to miss out by a shot.

Club professional Michael Block had earlier insisted he could contend for an extraordinary victory after a second consecutive 70 saw him on the same score as McIlroy and Lowry.

Block, who is one of 20 PGA professionals in the field in Rochester and the head pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in California, made the cut for the first time in seven majors, but was setting his sights considerably higher.

“I am having a great time,” Block, 46, said after a round containing four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey on the fifth, which was the result of a dreaded shank off the tee.

“I have no pressure, I have a job and a pay cheque waiting for me at my club. I don’t have to make putts to pay for my mortgage. This is a beautiful thing I have here.

“I feel like I’ve got the game this week to compete, to tell you the truth. I feel like I could shoot even par out here every day. I feel at the end of the four days that might be a pretty good result.”

Michael Block
Michael Block hits his tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round of the US PGA Championship (Eric Gay/AP)

Block has the words “Why not?” stamped on the balls he uses as a reminder not to doubt his abilities when the pressure is on, something which stems from holing a putt to qualify for the 2007 US Open.

And asked what the ultimate “why not?” would be, he added: “To win, by far. As weird as it sounds, I’m going to compete. I promise you that.”

The Editorial Team Avatar

About The Editorial Team

The editorial team at Golf Today strives to provide readers with captivating content that celebrates the rich heritage and exciting developments in the world of golf. Their collective expertise and dedication ensure that Golf Today remains a premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking the latest news, insightful analysis, and engaging stories from the world of golf.

Read Next

ECCO® GOLF & Rick Shiels drop special edition ultra-limited BIOM® C4

ECCO® GOLF & Rick Shiels drop special edition ultra-limited BIOM® C4

The sneaker-style hybrid shoe comes in white with red and black accents and has the same functionality as the regular BIOM C4.
PING Putter line expands with six new premium models

Six new premium models added to PING Putter line

Each new model was crafted to combine feel and forgiveness in a confidence-inspiring look.
Scottie Scheffler celebrates after a birdie on the 18th hole gave him a one-shot lead after 54 holes of the Masters

Scheffler still sizzling, PGA Championship looming

After winning the RBC following a second Masters triumph, M. James Ward outlines the monster year now in motion for the firmly entrenched number one golfer on the planet.
magnifiercrossmenuchevron-downcross-circle
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram