Rory McIlroy finding conditions at Wentworth more to his tastes

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy produced a back nine flourish to move into contention after the second round of the BMW PGA Championship.

The two-time major winner struggled to find any rhythm over his opening nines holes on Friday reaching the turn in three over 38 but he responded on the back nine and a run of three birdies in his closing four holes saw him sign for a one under 71.

At five under par, Rory is tied for fifth and is just five shots behind the joint leaders Thomas Bjorn and Shane Lowry.

The 25-year-old announced on Wednesday that he had called off his planned November wedding to former world number one tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.

“I was apprehensive going out yesterday, I honestly didn’t know what to expect and it was good I had the quick turnaround to get back on the golf course,” said Rory.

“I have exceeded my expectations so far. Once you get inside the ropes you are concentrating on your golf and it’s almost a nice four or five-hour release to concentrate on the job at hand.

“I stood here yesterday saying that I would be happy to make the cut and I’m in for the weekend, which is nice.

“Hopefully I can make a run at it.

“I feel like I’m playing well enough to shoot something in the mid 60s and get myself in the mix going into Sunday.”

Rory has struggled to get to grips with Wentworth over the years but the wet and windy weather that has battered the course over recent days has actually helped his cause.

He added; “I’m still playing quite conservatively for me, but it has helped that it’s softer because you can be a little more aggressive.

“You know, the ball isn’t bouncing off the fairways. If you pitch it on the fairway this week, it usually stays on the fairway.

“So a little bit of both. I like that it’s softer this week, because once it gets bouncy out here, especially around this golf course, it just gets really, really tricky.

“So for it to be a little softer, I think is good for me.”

Lowry, an Irish amateur team mate of McIlroy’s, loves Wentworth finishing fourth here in 2011 and 12th last year.

He started his second round in some of the worst of the weather but stayed patient and finished strongly to move alongside Bjorn at the top of the leaderboard.

“I was good out there today. I was mentally there, and, yeah, really enjoyed it,” said the 2009 Irish Open champion.

“I enjoyed the golf course. It was tough, tough for the front nine with the rain and stuff. But it was a nice back nine, and I managed to take advantage of it.”

It has been an indifferent 2014 season up to now for Lowry whose best finish of was a share of 15th in the Spanish Open last week but he is clearly very much at home at Wentworth.

He added; “I just have to go out and keep doing what I’m doing.

“I have got my coach with me this week and so he’s quite good at getting me ready to play no matter what situation I’m in.”

Ireland’s Simon Thornton produced an excellent round of four under 68 to move up 80 places and into a tie for 19th.

Padraig Harrington carded a second round 76 but still made the cut on one over as did Damien McGrane who also made it through to the weekend on two over.

It proved to be an extremely taxing day for Darren Clarke, Peter Lawrie, Michael Hoey, Paul McGinley, Damien Mooney and Gareth Maybin who all failed to make it through to the weekend.