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Home / News / McIlroy struggles as Scheffler copes with nasty Augusta

McIlroy struggles as Scheffler copes with nasty Augusta

Rory McIlroy bemoaned the woeful pace of play after seeing his bid for a career grand slam blown off course on day two of the Masters.

McIlroy’s birdie-free second round of 77 took an incredible six hours and two minutes to complete alongside Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler, the world number one’s 72 giving him a share of the halfway lead with Max Homa and Bryson DeChambeau on six under par.

Tiger Woods made a record 24th straight cut at Augusta as a host of big names failed to make it inside the six over cut line.

McIlroy battled hard on a day when it was clear he didn’t have his best stuff and he didn’t card a single birdie.

At times he drove well, hit decent iron shots, chipped sharply and rolled in some putts, but rarely did he combine all of these qualities on one hole during an error strewn round.

Bogeys at five, seven and 14, plus a double bogey six at 11 did the damage, while he once again uncharacteristically failed to take advantage of any of the par fives.

A 77 to follow his first round 71 leaves him on four over heading into the weekend.


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“Just hard to make a score and just sort of trying to make as many pars as possible. I felt like I did OK. I made that bogey on 14, and even just to par the last four holes and get in the clubhouse and have a tee time tomorrow, I’m sort of pretty happy with.”

Asked about the pace of play, McIlroy said: “It felt long, yeah. Especially that 11th hole, it felt like it took an hour to play that hole.

“It was stop and start, hard to get into a rhythm with the conditions and obviously how slow the play was as well.”

He continued: “I won from 10 back [at halfway] in Dubai at the start of the year, but obviously the Dubai Desert Classic and the Masters are two very different golf tournaments.

“We’ll see. Hopefully the conditions are a little better tomorrow. Yeah, I still think I can go out tomorrow and shoot a low one, get back into red numbers, and have half a chance going into Sunday.”

Shane Lowry (above) was left praying for some “mad stuff” to happen after his second round of the 88th Masters at Augusta National.

Lowry added a second round of 74 to his opening 73 for a halfway total of three over par, nine shots behind the leaders.

“It was a tough two days,” the former Open champion said. “Shooting one over how I played yesterday was pretty disappointing and then I was behind the black ball after a few holes today.

“I battled well. I’m proud of myself for playing the last six holes in one under to make the cut, and yeah, hopefully go out there and have a decent weekend.

“It’s so hard out there. It’s honestly a lot of guesswork, a lot of luck involved. It’s hard to hole putts. It’s hard to hit it close. The wind is all over the place. I’ve never seen it like this.

“It’s hard to pick a wind and it’s hard to get it right if we were playing around a normal golf course, but you’re playing around Augusta National, where you have to be so precise as well.

“You can be made to look like an idiot out there today by not doing too much wrong. I’m not overly happy with my two days’ work, but I’m here for the weekend and I’ll give it a run.”

Bryson DeChambeau had defied similar windy conditions on Thursday to card an opening 65, but Lowry added: “You never know what’s going to happen.

“You see someone shoot seven under the first day you automatically think it’s going to be in the teens [under par] winning, but not around here. So we’ll see what happens over the next two days.

“Stranger things have happened around here, and mad stuff has happened.”

Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson’s hopes of adding to their respective collection of major championships got swept away in brutally windy conditions as they were among the high-profile players to miss the halfway cut.

On a day when only eight players broke par, Spieth actually shot a respectable two-over-par 74 in the second round but it was not enough to undo the damage from the 79 he posted in the opening round of the year’s first major.

Spieth, a three-times major winner who is 18th in the world rankings, finished nine over on the week and three shots outside the cut line.

LIV Golf’s Dustin Johnson, who set a Masters scoring record in November 2020 when he finished at 20 under to win his second major, left Augusta National scratching his head as he was 13 over on the week after rounds of 78 and 79.

Johnson, with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman on site following his progress, had no answer for the tricky conditions as his second round featured eight bogeys and a birdie which left him near the bottom of an 89-player field.

Twice PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas finished one shot outside the cut after a horrendous finish to his second round during which he made three double-bogeys and a bogey over his closing four holes.

Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who came into the week fresh off a playoff loss at the LIV Golf event in Miami, posted a seven-over-par 79 in the second round that left him at seven over on the week.

Among some other notables who failed to score well enough to play the weekend were reigning U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark and 2023 British Open winner Brian Harman.

Clark, making his first Masters appearance, was in the day’s final group and needed a birdie at the last hole to make the cut after three late bogeys but his putt from 13 feet rolled just right of the hole.

Additional reporting from Reuters

Follow our live Masters updates from first-tee Thursday to final-green Sunday on RTE.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app


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