McIlroy breaks second round curse, takes big lead into weekend
By Bernie D'Amato under The Open Championship


Rory McIlroy ended his second round funk in a big way by firing a six-under 66 to take a four-stroke lead into the weekend of The Open. He has a track record of destroying the field in major championships, and he is halfway to serving up a smack down once again.

After the round, the news didn’t get much better for the players trailing the leader. McIlroy said, “I’m very comfortable in this position. I’m very comfortable doing what I’m doing right now. It’s hard to describe. I wish I could get into it more often. If I’m able to do it a few times a year, that’s nice. I think it’s a combination of confidence. It’s just being mentally strong, mentally aware of everything. But I think it all comes down to if you’re confident with your game and you’re in control of your ball out there, it makes things a lot easier.”

There are probably several guys hoping for poor weather tomorrow so that a good round goes a long way, but Rory has the confidence to play in anything right now. The 25-year-old had been suffering from a case of the second round woes, but he broke out of the slump with seven birdies following a bogey to start the round.

“Going out there, I just wanted to play another solid round of golf, stick to my game plan, stick to doing what I do well, which is take advantage of the par 5s, maybe take advantage of some of the other holes that are downwind. That’s all I was thinking about.”

McIlroy also fed off the gallery. “I think it’s fantastic to be able to be in this position in front of the home fans, if you will. I felt a lot of great support out there today. Hopefully, get the same for the next couple of days as well.”

Dustin Johnson is four strokes behind Rory at eight-under par. He has a chance to track down Rory, but it will come down to how well the players deal with the conditions.

However, McIlroy is prepared to play in anything. “And I feel like I’m ready for whatever conditions come because I’ve practiced the last few weeks in links-type conditions. I’ve practiced the shots that I might need in windy conditions or wet conditions or whatever it is. And in a way having that four-shot lead isn’t a bad thing because it makes it tougher for the guys to catch you. Whatever the weather is tomorrow, I won’t mind, and just try and play another solid round of golf.”

Open Championship leader board.

–Bernie D’Amato