Rory McIlroy carded a second-round 64 to move into contention at the Travelers Championship; World No. 3 among under-eight players; With Keegan Bradley and Denny McCarthy in the lead at 15 under, McIlroy is still on the field; Watch the action from TPC River Highlands live on Sky Sports Golf
0:05, UK, Saturday 24 June 2023
Rory McIlroy stormed up the leaderboard at the Travelers Championship after carding a six-under 64 in the second round at TBC River Highlands.
The world No. 3 had an eight-shot lead at the start of the day after posting five birdies and five bogeys along with his first PGA Tour hole-in-one in his opening round.
But McIlroy clawed his way up the leaderboard on Friday, rattling off eight birdies before double-bogeying his final hole — that hole-in-one scenario at the par-three eighth — and settling for six-under. Round.
That left McIlroy tied for 10th at 8 under with several players including defending champion Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hovland.
Americans Keegan Bradley and Denny McCarthy lead at 15 under and hold a two-shot advantage over the field, leaving plenty of ground for McIlroy to claim a maiden Travelers Championship title.
World No. 1 Scotty Scheffler sits at seven, along with Shane Lowry, Patrick Kantley, Aaron Roy and Hideki Matsuyama.
Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Thomas are also at six under, while US Open champion Wyndham Clarke sits at five under after carding a three-under 67.
Live PGA Tour Golf
Friday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m
But Masters champion John Rahm was one of the few big names to miss out on the weekend. The Spaniard posted an over-par 71 to finish at two under, setting the cut mark at four under par.
Tommy Fleetwood finished two over overall, while Colin Morikawa couldn’t quite recover from his opening-round 74 to finish at seven-under 63 on Friday.
How McIlroy climbed the leaderboard
McIlroy made an impressive start to his round with five birdies.
The first of those would come on his second hole, the par-three 11th, before making back-to-back wins on the 14th and 15th as he did in his first round.
McIlroy would finish his first nine with back-to-back gains, and two birdies on the par-four second and third holes saw him make the turn.
He made his 15th hole, the par-five sixth, and McIlroy had a chance to post a 59.
But it will end in part eight-three. After watching his tee shot find the cup on Thursday, it will be a very different emotion as his tee shot ends up in the water on Friday.
McIlroy’s bogey putt rolled as he had to settle for a five, and he ran into trouble at the last with an errant drive.
But McIlroy managed to save par and put himself in contention to win the Travelers Championship for the first time heading into the weekend.
„It felt good. I played better today than I did yesterday. I’m not out of shape – yesterday I made a lot of boring mistakes and it was a little bit better today,” McIlroy said post-round.
„After a hole-in-one on eight yesterday, it could have made two threes to make double bogey today.
“Overall it was great and I played some good golf to get myself back into the tournament today.
„I came in late on Wednesday and played a quick nine, but yesterday felt like my practice round, so I felt a little more comfortable out there today.”
Live PGA Tour Golf
Saturday, June 24 at 5:00 p.m
Bradley, McCarthy lead after 36-hole course record
Bradley and McCarthy hold a two-shot lead heading into the weekend at 15 under at the 36-hole course at TPC River Highlands.
The pair broke the 36-hole mark of 14 set by Justin Rose in 2010 and were matched by Schaeffel last year in a run for the title.
McCarthy followed up Thursday afternoon’s red-hot round of 60 with a 65 on Friday morning. He recovered from a bogey on the par-four second hole, his first and only bogey of the tournament, with six birdies, five on the back nine.
„It’s great, but golf tournaments unfortunately aren’t 36 holes, so I know there’s still a lot of golf,” McCarthy said.
„I play really good golf, so I’m looking forward to having fun this weekend and looking forward to the challenge.”
Bradley opened with a 62, using a run of five straight birdies on the back nine on Friday to post a seven-under 63.
Bradley’s winning birdie putts included a 58-footer at the third, a 34 1/2-footer at the 12th and a left-to-right 15 1/2-footer at the 15th.
Chez Reavie, the 2019 winner, was two strokes back after a 63. Eric Cole was 11 under for 65.
Australia’s Adam Scott – who, like McCarthy, was on 59 before signing for a 62 on Thursday afternoon – shot 68 on Friday and is tied for third at 10 under.
Rahm leaves early
However, world No. 2 Rahm’s wait for a first Travelers win extends for another year after he mixed three bogeys with two birdies on Friday.
Starting on the par-five 10th, the Spaniard bogeyed his opening hole, and another bogey would come on the par-three 16th when he recovered that shot with a birdie on the next par-five 13th.
After five consecutive bars around the turn, another dropped shot comes at the fourth. Rahm would then make two holes, but could not find further gains as he closed the three holes.
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