LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rory McIlroy tracked the flight of his drive as long as he could against the rain clouds over Valhalla on Friday, not quite sure where it landed. He turned to his caddie for confirmation and asked, “Was it good?”
“Beautiful,” J.P. Fitzgerald replied, his eyes still fixed on a shot that traveled 311 yards right down the middle.
Such is the state of McIlroy’s game at the PGA Championship.
He produced superior shots with his long game. He made all the right putts Friday in a round of 4-under 67. And even with a one-shot lead over Jason Day and Jim Furyk after two rounds, there was an ominous feeling at the final major of the year.
“When I’m playing like this, it’s obviously very enjoyable,” McIlroy said. “I can’t wait to get back out on the course again tomorrow and do the same thing all over again.”
It used to be that way for Tiger Woods.
But on a day that McIlroy posted his 12th consecutive round under par, Woods hobbled away from Valhalla with a sore back and an uncertain future. He never came close to making the cut, and only a pair of late birdies kept it respectable. Woods had another 74 and missed the cut by five shots.
McIlroy, who is at 9-under 133, picked up his third major — and the third leg of the career Grand Slam — last month at Royal Liverpool in a wire-to-wire win at the British Open. He followed with a comeback victory last week at Firestone for his first World Golf Championship.
“It would be big,” McIlroy said of the prospects of winning the PGA Championship. “It would be a fourth major championship, two in one year, two in a row. There’s a lot of golf left to play, I’m going to try my best to just keep what I’ve got and keep doing that.”
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