Brilliant McIlroy in lead; Tiger misses cut

Brilliant McIlroy in lead; Tiger misses cut

Rory McIlroy, helped by composed shot-making and a stunning eagle on his ninth hole of the day, soared one stroke clear in the weather-hit second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday.

The British Open champion, in pursuit of a third consecutive victory on the PGA Tour, fired a four-under-par 67 on a wet, ultra-long Valhalla layout where play was suspended for 45 minutes earlier in the day due to water-logged conditions.

McIlroy, the pre-tournament favorite heading into the year's final major, holed an uphill 30-foot putt from just off the green to eagle the par-five 18th and also recorded four birdies and two bogeys to post a nine-under total of 133.

Four-times winner Tiger Woods, however, ended a miserable week prematurely when he missed the cut at a major for only the fourth time as a professional, looking tournament rusty in both rounds as he carded successive 74s.

McIlroy squandered a golden opportunity to add another eagle at the par-five seventh, where he hit a brilliant second shot from 243 yards to eight feet before missing the putt, but signed off with a birdie at the ninth where he drained a 16-footer.

"I played well for the most part," world number one McIlroy told reporters after moving a step closer to winning the fourth major title of his career. "Scored really well. Some key up-and-downs to keep the momentum going in the round.

"I'm very pleased. I'm in a great position going into the weekend in another major championship. Can't ask for much more. I'm confident, and I'm just on a good run.
“You've seen before when I got on good runs like this, I can sort of keep it going for a little while," said the Northern Irishman, who won last month's British Open before clinching the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last Sunday in his next start.

McIlroy ended his round one ahead of Australian Jason Day, who fired a best-of-the-day 65, and veteran American Jim Furyk (68). Americans Rickie Fowler (66) and Ryan Palmer (70), and Finland's Mikko Ilonen (68) were a further stroke back.

Five-times major winner Phil Mickelson (67) was next best on a high-quality leaderboard, level at six under with Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (68).

England's former world number one Lee Westwood (72), fourth-ranked Swede Henrik Stenson (71) and American Steve Stricker (68) were among a group of seven players knotted at five under.

Also missing the cut along with Woods were US Open champion Martin Kaymer of Germany and triple major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland.

Lahiri misses cut

Meanwhile, India’s Anirban Lahiri gave it all, but it was not enough to keep him for the weekend as he missed the cut by a fair margin.

Lahiri added a second round 73 to the 72 he had on Thursday to get to three-over 145 but the cut was applied at one-over.

Lahiri admitted making far too many mistakes and was also clearly somewhat rusty as he was still recovering from chicken pox after the British Open three weeks ago.
“That’s no excuse. Yes, I have not been 100 per cent but even then I should have played much better. I made far too many mistakes. Five bogeys in a round is way too many,” he said.

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