Sport Golf

Sunday 18 March 2018

Rory McIlroy looks to chase down leaders on day two of US PGA Championship

Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy insisted he remains firmly in contention for a fifth major title despite a disappointing finish to his first round of the US PGA Championship.

McIlroy was two under par after 12 holes at Quail Hollow, a venue where he has won twice on the PGA Tour and holds the course record of 61.

But the 28-year-old then bogeyed the 13th and drove into the water on the 14th on his way to a double-bogey six, eventually signing for a one-over-par 72 to finish five shots off the pace.

McIlroy was either first or second after the opening round in each of his major victories to date, but said: "I'm only five behind. It's a tough golf course. I shoot something in the 60s tomorrow, I move right up there. So yeah, I'm in it.

"For a stretch of that round, I drove it really well. I was hitting the ball well. I could see birdies. I can see a low one out there. It's just a matter of not shooting yourself in the foot too often like I did today.

"It wasn't very easy. It was tough. The greens got very grainy as the day went on as well. If you just hit a putt a tiny bit off line, it exaggerated it. It was tough to hole putts this afternoon. Hopefully the surfaces are a little better tomorrow morning and we can hopefully hole some more putts.

"The greens are as firm as I've ever seen at a PGA Championship. That makes things difficult. It (Quail Hollow) is definitely playing a few shots harder than it usually is and it's a major championship. It should be."

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