An errant tee shot once again cost Rory McIlroy momentum in his second round at The Open Championship. On Day 2, however, the Ulsterman was unable to regain it.
McIlroy shot 5-over 75 in the second round at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, going from 3 under to a 2-over total that leaves him a dozen shots back of the lead of Brandt Snedeker.
The turning point in McIlroy's round came, well, at the turn. At the par-3 ninth, McIlroy was even on his round and pulled his tee shot into a greenside bunker. After taking a free drop inside the water-filled bunker, McIlroy required two shots to escape, leading to a double bogey. From then on, McIlroy made three more bogeys leading to 75.
"It wasn't the best day out there. I was doing pretty well just to hang in there and making a double on the ninth was sort of the turning point," said McIlroy, according to Sky Sports. "I couldn't really recover from that."
McIlroy has found 64 percent of the fairways this week, which he says needs to improve.
"I need to hit more fairways. I need to go out there and commit to my drives, commit to my tee shots and if I can do that, then hopefully that'll help me shoot a better score," he said to ESPN.
Well aware of his deficit, McIlroy hopes for a Saturday run to apply pressure on Snedeker.
"Obviously Snedeker is a little bit ahead at the minute," he said, "but I feel like if I can maybe get it back to where I was at the start of the day today, somewhere around there, three, four under going into Sunday, I think I'd still have a great chance."