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Mixed McIlroy in the hunt as Woods and Lowry struggle

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Rory McIlroy admits he is unlikely to play in Europe this year

Rory McIlroy admits he is unlikely to play in Europe this year

AP

Rory McIlroy admits he is unlikely to play in Europe this year

Rory McIlroy mixed the sublime with the frustrating during his second round to leave himself seven shots off the lead at the halfway stage of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

The world No 1 hit 12 of the 18 greens in regulation as he offset an eagle and four birdies with a double bogey and four bogeys in a level-par second round of 72 to sit two-under par overall.

That's a long way behind the lead, held by American duo Ryan Palmer and Tony Finau, who both sit at nine-under par after their opening two rounds, with world No 2 Jon Rahm looking in fine form just a shot behind them.

Rahm could overtake McIlroy at the top of the world rankings if he goes on to win this weekend, with his five-under 66 only bettered by two of yesterday's other early starters.

It was not a good day for Graeme McDowell, however, as he finished well adrift of the cut line on 11-over par after another tough day.

Frustration

He'll be joined in Minnesota for next week's 3M Open by Offaly's Shane Lowry, who looked set to miss the cut after two late bogeys saw him card a three-over-par 75 in his second round to finish at four-over.

It was frustrating for McIlroy's playing partners Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka too, who were both perched precariously on the cutline after finishing at three-over par.

For McIlroy, it was a case of the Holywood man providing a full display of his usual jaw-dropping talent, but also dropping some shots that he will wish he could have back.

For instance, his start could not have gone worse, bogeying the 10th - his first hole of the day - and then backing that up with a double bogey at the par-five 11th after driving it into the water and then fluffing a chip from the back of the green.

McIlroy began to rally, however, registering four birdies and an eagle on the par-five fifth to help keep in the hunt for the weekend.

  • Memorial Tournament, Live, Sky Sports, 12.45

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