Rory McIlroy in a familiar position entering second round of the 86th Masters

Since winning his last major title in the 2014 US PGA Championship, McIlroy is a combined 35 over par in the first round of majors.

Phil Casey
Friday 08 April 2022 15:57
Rory McIlroy got off to another slow start in a major on day one of the Masters (Brian Lawless/PA)
Rory McIlroy got off to another slow start in a major on day one of the Masters (Brian Lawless/PA)

Rory McIlroy found himself in a depressingly familiar position as he got his second round of the 86th Masters under way.

Since winning his last major title in the 2014 US PGA Championship, McIlroy is a combined 35 over par in the first round of majors, his latest effort being a one-over 73 at Augusta National on Thursday.

That left the 32-year-old six shots off the overnight lead and facing an uphill battle to win a green jacket and complete the career grand slam, with 32 of the last 35 Masters champions shooting par or better in the first round.

The first-round scoring average of the last 20 Masters champions is 69.2, but McIlroy was in optimistic mood after completing his opening 73 in fading light on Thursday evening.

“I played really well,” McIlroy said. “I think I hit like 12 fairways and 14 greens and just didn’t really get a lot out of the round.

Rory McIlroy walks off the second green after making a birdie in the first round of the Masters (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

“I had a putt on 14 to go to two under for the day with the par-five (15th) to play and I three-putt that, and that sort of halted any momentum I had.

“I feel like 73 was the worst I could have shot today. I feel like I played really, really well. I don’t really care where I’m at on the leaderboard or it doesn’t matter.

“I played well. I hit the ball great from tee to green for the most part. So I’m pleased with that.”

McIlroy briefly found himself a shot closer to the lead without hitting a ball when overnight leader Sungjae Im started his second round with a bogey on the first, but the 2020 Masters runner-up birdied the third to get back to five under par.

Tiger Woods, who carded an opening 71 in his latest improbable return from injury, was among the later starters.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in