In this major edition of “pars the hard way,” Rory McIlroy put on a show during his opening hole on Friday at the PGA Championship.
Starting his second round on Quail Hollow’s par-5 10th, the two-time PGA Champion found the right rough off the tee, and only went more right from there. He missed the green with his second shot and then got an unfortunate break as his ball caught a maintenance road and trundled back down leaving him 80 yards and some tree trouble for his third shot.
McIlroy arrived at his ball and took a stroll up to the green. After taking relief from the path and assessing his options with his new caddie Harry Diamond, he decided he was going to skip the ball off the service road, and with a little bit of luck, it would end up on or near the green.
For perspective, this was just how far off line he was.
“It was really the only option I had,” he said. “I dropped it in a pretty bad lie, so I couldn’t carry it over the cart path. So I hit a 6-iron. Just said, ‘OK, I’ll bounce it up the cart path and see where this goes.”
Sure enough, McIlroy pulled it off practically to perfection. The ball caromed off the pavement and rolled just through the green. From there he chipped it to two feet and cleaned up his par.
“I was just trying to get it in the bunker, and luckily I hit it with enough speed, and it got up and out of there.”
It looked like five the whole way! McIlroy posted his second consecutive 1-over par 72 and sits in a tie for 31st heading into the weekend.
Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner lead the way at 8-under par after firing rounds of 64 and 67, respectively on Friday. Jason Day shot a 5-under par 66 and now finds himself only two back of the leaders. Dustin Johnson is tied with McIlroy at 2-over par while Jordan Spieth is 11 shots back at 3-over.
Due to a weather delay the middle of the second round, play was suspended due to darkness. Players who still need to complete their second rounds will come back on Saturday morning.
Here’s a look at some of Friday’s action:
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