THE OPEN: McIlroy 'ecstatic' after memorable round

Officials help remove a signpost to allow Rory McIlroy to play on the 15th hole during yesterday's second round of the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

After a horror start on Thursday, when he reached the turn in his joint-worst Open first nine of 39, he faced a tough task to break 80, but what a difference a day can make on the links.

Matt Kuchar (71) is Spieth's closest challenger while the resurgent Ian Poulter ground out 16 pars in a 70 which earned him a share of third with Brooks Koepka (72), with Scotland's Richie Ramsay also in contention on two under par.

The Northern Irishman started his opening round poorly before battling back to post a 71 and he mastered fierce crosswinds to pick up three birdies in the first six holes of round two at Royal Birkdale. It was a back-nine of 32 - the best of the day from anyone - and may just be the catalyst for a shot of positive form into the coming days for the leading player of his generation, who has balanced a frustrating season dominated by several changes, whether it be equipment, a recurring injury, and indeed marrying earlier this year. I had to find a couple of little key thoughts, and I feel like I have.

"It's getting there. As I said, it's almost there. If I go out tomorrow under bad conditions and shoot something in the 60s, I feel like I'll be right there for the weekend".

Defending champion Henrik Stenson, Australia's Jason Day and in-form Spaniard Jon Rahm signed for rounds of 1-under, while world number one Dustin Johnson and in-form Rickie Fowler could only manage rounds of 1-over like McIlroy.

He will head into the weekend five adrift of Spieth, who birdied the first and then dropped his first shot of The Open at the third, and he erred again at the ninth before a chip-in for par at the 10th shortly before the temporary suspension inspired him to birdie the 11th and 12th.

"I just hit the wrong club off the tee".

"There was a lot of quality out there and I was happy to see that". I think it was playing about 162 yards today.

Today's forecast is for more showers and a stiff breeze but Belfast boy McIlroy is used to battling the elements and is not going to lose any sleep over things he can not control.

"It's nearly there, but still just a few sloppy swings", McIlroy added.

"I set myself a target of being in a better position today than I was yesterday". It's not quite where I need it to be to win the biggest golf tournaments in the world.

"But we've been moving in the right direction and I believe we can do this". So I kept a good, positive attitude. I finished the first round one over and I wanted to be at least level par or under par if possible.

"That stretch - 10, 11 and 12 - just to keep the momentum going and keep the round going, they were all huge". The South African mainstay Ernie Els, a two-time Open champion, did not mind it so much, but did say: "Yeah, I mean I'm 6-5, so the wind is going to get me".

Related News:

  • Republican anti-Donald Trump group launches new Vladimir Putin ad

    Republican anti-Donald Trump group launches new Vladimir Putin ad

    Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on their findings and dismissed investigations into potential collusion between his campaign and Moscow as a "witch hunt".
    Puig confronts Marlins pitcher after almost  being hit

    Puig confronts Marlins pitcher after almost being hit

    With two outs, Christian Yelich's single scored Dee Gordon, who reached with a pinch-hit single, to cut the Dodgers' lead to one. Hill closed the first half of the season on high note throwing seven innings in each of his last three starts.
    OR  receiver Darren Carrington dismissed from the team

    OR receiver Darren Carrington dismissed from the team

    The departure comes after Carrington was arrested on July 1 on suspicion of driving while under the influence of intoxicants. The dismissal of Carrington is somewhat of a surprise simply because of how important he was to the offense.
  • Grace had 'no idea' his 62 was lowest in a major

    South Korea's Hyo-Joo Kim holds the record for the lowest round in any major with 61 at the women's Evian Championship in 2014. Grace said he had not had any idea he was on a record pace. "I played really good, really solid from tee to green".
    Japan to warn of greater threat from North Korea in new report

    Japan to warn of greater threat from North Korea in new report

    Autonomous restrictive measures amount to sanctions separate from those called for by the UN Security Council. The move came as part of the global pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programs.

    Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) Experiences Heavier than Usual Trading Volume

    Intrust Bank Na decreased its stake in Astrazeneca Plc (AZN ) by 30.69% based on its latest 2016Q4 regulatory filing with the SEC. The stock of Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has "Outperform" rating given on Friday, September 16 by BMO Capital Markets.
  • Bank of America chooses Dublin as post-Brexit EU hub

    Bank of America chooses Dublin as post-Brexit EU hub

    The $1.3bn (£998m) in revenue from that business toppedthe CEO James Gorman's $1bn quarterly target and beat Goldman's $1.2bn. It is the first of the Wall street lenders to announce where it intends to set up camp after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
    Elon Musk claims he has approval for NYC-DC hyperloop

    Elon Musk claims he has approval for NYC-DC hyperloop

    For some urban context: the recently opened stretch of subway in NY cost $4.5 billion for less than 2 miles of rails. The machine, dubbed Nannie by the city's water utility, had been used to dig a sewage overflow tunnel.
    Apple Contractors Gang Up On Qualcomm, File Antitrust Complaint

    Apple Contractors Gang Up On Qualcomm, File Antitrust Complaint

    Qualcomm's shares were up 53 cents at $56.82 in late day trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq exchange. Qualcomm countersued Apple in May for its retaliatory withholding of license payments.
  • Charlie Gard team 'must present new evidence' for treatment in US

    Charlie Gard team 'must present new evidence' for treatment in US

    The hospital said the treatment would cause suffering and would not help, suggesting that life-support to the baby should stop. Gollop apologized and said, "almost all the medical evidence in this case makes for sad reading", the association reported.
    Qatar Petroleum, Total launch new venture for oil field

    Qatar Petroleum, Total launch new venture for oil field

    There will be no disruption in output and deliveries of crude during the transition to Total as the field's operator, he said. The joint venture, named the North Oil Company, was formally inaugurated Tuesday in Qatar's capital, Doha.

    Spider-Man: Homecoming: Marisa Tomei Disappointed Over Cut Scene

    The first Spider-Man film to be released into the MCU the film also stars Robert Downey Jr .as Iron Man which seems to have broadened the appeal of the film.


Most liked

Jada Pinkett Smith's drug dealing past
I'm willing to bet you'll be plotting on the experience before you leave your seat in the theater. "God's got it", said Smith. As rollicking as it is for much of its two hours and change, its poignant moments are powerfully resonant.

Mike Williams may need season-ending surgery
Williams is now dealing with a herniated disk in his back, getting a second epidural recently in an effort to help his recovery. Williams was diagnosed with a herniated disk after his first practice during rookie minicamp and did not practice again.

Aaron Carter slams brother Backstreet Boys star Nick after DUI arrest
When I was 19 years old, I got an endoscopy done in Tennessee and I was diagnosed with a Hiatal Hernia. He continued: " Aaron holds a medical license for medical marijuana for his long standing anxiety ".

Jose Mourinho in the dark over pursuit of Inter winger Ivan Perisic
United are keen to wrap up a deal so Perisic does not have to travel and are said to be increasingly hopeful of finalising terms. However, the 28-year-old Croatian worldwide is keen to leave San Siro and posted a cryptic message on Instagram on Monday.

Lexington Realty Trust (NYSE:LXP) Institutional Investor Sentiment
It worsened, as 90 investors sold BIIB shares while 341 reduced holdings. 31 funds opened positions while 88 raised stakes. Security Capital Research & Management Inc decreased Vornado Rlty Tr (VNO) stake by 1.07% reported in 2016Q4 SEC filing.

Trump keeps Iran deal, but threatens more sanctions
The point, however, is that the Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration is in trouble. The White House last certified Iran's compliance with the terms of the deal in April.

Disney Finds Its Stars For Live Action Aladdin Remake
And for the upcoming live action remake of the hit classic, Disney picks Will Smith to continue William's the legacy. Since people already know her as the Power Rangers chick, there have been some mixed responses on social media.

Lionel Messi wants Ivan Rakitic to stay at Barcelona at any cost
The 23-year-old cost Barca £30million from Valencia last summer, with a further £17m available in add-ons. Barcelona remain keen on landing Verratti , who has been on their radar for months.

Amazon's next big thing might rival Blue Apron
It can also offer meal kits for in-store pickup, in addition to the kind of delivery subscription Blue Apron offers. The fall in share price value could have additional implications for the unprofitable meal kit-delivery company.

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP) Shares Sold by Kidder Stephen W
Analysts are expecting EPS growth rates to be at -113.20% this quarter and EPS estimate for next year reflect 97.00% growth rate. The investment managers in our partner's database now own: 107.48 million shares, down from 116.04 million shares in 2016Q3.

Mets add to Rockies' misery
LeMahieu (who had four hits, including two doubles, in his first four at-bats) and a three-run home run by Nolan Arenado . LeMahieu singled, Reynolds doubled and Ian Desmond , fresh off the disabled list, poked a two-run single to right.

US Consumer Prices Unchanged In June Amid Falling Energy Prices
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, prices rose 0.1 percent in June and 1.7 percent from a year earlier. Data from the Labor Department showed that consumer price index was flat in June after edging down by 0.1% in May.

Chinese censors scrub emoji tributes to Nobel victor
Liu's wife remains under house arrest. "Now, we are most concerned about Liu Xia, but there has been no information about her". Will family's wishes be respected? "It's too absolute", said the source, who declined to be identified.

Woman destroys RM857,900 of art in selfie mishap
The video has gone viral upon its release, showing the woman's repeated attempts to catch the best selfie angle. Others wondered wondered why the pedestals weren't more securely attached to the floor.

Samsung may launch Galaxy Note 8 on August 23
The financial details of the buyout deal were not disclosed, but Samsung reportedly paid under $43 million for the acquisition. So, if that happens, the Galaxy Note 8 will rule the smartphone market, at least until the next-gen iPhone arrives.