Rory McIlroy kept himself firmly in the mix at the PGA Championship on a tough second day.
After his stunning opening round, reminiscent of the McIlroy of old, day two was much more of a grind. Having been overtaken by Justin Thomas before he had teed off, two front-nine bogeys saw him drop two further back.
But one positive sign for the 33-year-old will be the way he hung on. Previously, a couple of dropped shots might have caused the wheels to come off. Instead, McIlroy steadied the ship, saving par on each of the last three holes to grind out an 18 which leaves him very much in contention for his fifth major.
“I saved par on 16, 17 and 18 and that was really big,” he said.
“I kept myself within touching distance and that was a good thing.
“A lot of guys went low out there and I wish I was one of them, but if that’s the bad one out of the way I’m in a good position going into the weekend.”
Meanwhile, playing partner Tiger Woods endured another tough day – but crucially got back to three-over to stamp his ticket for the weekend.
Woods was in clear discomfort at various points throughout the round, but put together a gutsy round and vowed to try to find a way to win after he walked off the final green.
He did not totally eradicate the poor iron play which plagued his opening round, but improvements were there.
“If I can get myself in putting range, I am putting well,” he said.
“I just need to get myself there enough times.
“It was good fighting on the back nine. I’m not able to do what I want; my body doesn’t feel the way I want it to feel. But I’ve just got to do it.”