Rory McIlroy falls off the PGA Championship ladder

TULSA, Oklahoma — Rory McIlroy might let one get away on Friday.

McIlroy, who hasn’t won a major since 2014, couldn’t build on the 5-under-65 he set in Thursday’s opening round of the PGA Championship in Southern Hills. He shot a disappointing 1-over-71 in the second round to put him five shots ahead of Will Zlatoris.

What made McIlroy’s mediocre round so outrageous was that he was playing on the afternoon wave of tee times after the strong morning winds had died down, making for great scoring conditions.

“I didn’t have the best start,” he said. “That bogey on 2 and then I don’t think it really gave me enough realistic chances for birdies. After that, I played solidly on the way there. After the second bogey on 7, it was respectable to play the last 11 holes 1-under.”

Rory McIlroy reacts during his tough second lap.
Rory McIlroy reacts during his tough second lap.
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McIlroy finished his round with three ups and downs for par after missing the green.

“I think those ups and downs on the 16th, 17th and 18th are going to be really important,” he said. “It just keeps me a little bit closer to the lead and doesn’t really feel like I have that kind of mountain to climb when I might have lost a hole or two on those last three holes. It’s a long way, lots of golf left.”

None of the four New York Met Area Club pros in the field made the cut. Alex Beach, an assistant pro at Westchester Country Club, followed up his 73 with a 78 in the first round to end with 11 overs. Paul Dickinson of the Atlantic Golf Club on east Long Island followed his 78 with a 77 and finished with 15 overs. Brae Burn in Purchase’s Dylan Newman finished the 13-over. And Casey Pyne of Stanwich in Greenwich, Conn. finished 17-over. … Cameron Young from Sleepy Hollow at Briarcliff Manor has a great tournament. He shot 67 on Friday to go 2-under and a tie for 10th place.

A few high-profile players missed the cut, starting with world No. 1 and reigning Masters Champion Scottie Scheffler, who has been on a bender since February and won four times. Scheffler, who called Southern Hills one of his “favorite spots,” finished 6-over on Friday after shooting 75.

Dustin Johnson also finished 6-over and went home. Patrick Cantlay finished 11-overs and didn’t make it through the weekend. In the current Ryder Cup captains’ duel, Europe’s Henrik Stenson finished 5-overs while Zach Johnson of the USA finished 11-overs.

Matthew Fitzpatrick did not have positive expectations for this week’s PGA Championship. However, the 27-year-old Englishman is 3-under and in contention for the weekend at Southern Hills and after firing 69 on Friday sounded a little surprised by it.

“My dad called me on Monday and asked how the course was and nothing against the PGA here, but I said, ‘It’s a typical PGA, it’s long and tough and just not really my thing.’ ‘ Fitzpatrick said. “I’ll be honest, I’ve got a lot more time this year and the first two days showed a lot, the guys I played with, the clubs I hit holes. I don’t know, I hope it’s a sign things are changing a bit for me and opening a few more doors for me at other golf courses.”

Rally of the week so far belongs to Brooks Koepka, who followed up his 75th on the first lap with a 3-under 67 on Friday. Koepka looked set to be on course for a missed cut Thursday as he turned 5-over-40. He fell to 6-over with a bogey at 14 but went into the weekend with 2-over.

When asked what it takes to get back into competition, Koepka said, “Probably another good lap, maybe a deep lap. It will take more than that to get close but yeah it definitely takes a really good lap.” Rory McIlroy falls off the PGA Championship ladder


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