Skip to main content

McIlroy seeks solution, Tiger finds one

June 2, 2012 -- Updated 2132 GMT (0532 HKT)
Rory McIlroy cardied three bogeys and two double-bogeys in Friday's second round at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
Rory McIlroy cardied three bogeys and two double-bogeys in Friday's second round at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rory McIlroy seeking to reverse poor run of results ahead of U.S. Open starting June 14
  • Northern Irishman has missed three cuts in a row in buildup to his title defense
  • He will play in Memphis next week in the last tournament before the season's second major
  • Tiger Woods was one shot behind leader Rory Sabbatini at halfway stage at Memorial event

(CNN) -- Three starts and three missed cuts. Rory McIlroy has a lot of hard work to do before he begins the defense of his U.S. Open title later this month.

The world's No. 2 golfer crashed out of weekend contention at the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament after a second-round 79 on Friday that left him 12 shots behind halfway leader Rory Sabbatini of South Africa.

"I don't feel like the scores are actually reflecting how I'm hitting the ball," the Northern Irishman told reporters. "I was able to string nine good holes together yesterday.

"I just need to keep working on it and try and string 18 good holes together and then try and string two days together and obviously three days and ultimately four.

PGA Tour latest leaderboard

Rickie Fowler, one of golf's most colorful characters, celebrates his first PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow, where he won in a playoff against 2010 champion Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points. Rickie Fowler, one of golf's most colorful characters, celebrates his first PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow, where he won in a playoff against 2010 champion Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points.
Fowler's first
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Fowler\'s first PGA Tour title Fowler's first PGA Tour title
Fifteen-year-old Lydia Ko is the youngest LPGA Tour winner in history courtesy of her win at the Canadian Women's Open. She was just 14 when she triumphed at the the New South Wales Open in January 2012, becoming the youngest player to win a professional tournament. She clinched the U.S. Amateur Championship two weeks ago. Fifteen-year-old Lydia Ko is the youngest LPGA Tour winner in history courtesy of her win at the Canadian Women's Open. She was just 14 when she triumphed at the the New South Wales Open in January 2012, becoming the youngest player to win a professional tournament. She clinched the U.S. Amateur Championship two weeks ago.
History maker
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Golf\'s young prodigies Golf's young prodigies
Luke Donald never recovered from an opening round of four-over 75 at Harbour Town Golf Links. Luke Donald never recovered from an opening round of four-over 75 at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Donald finishes down field
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
>
>>
McIlroy reclaims top ranking from Donald McIlroy reclaims top ranking from Donald
Monty: Difficult time for Tiger

"But I hit some good shots out there. I'm definitely hitting the ball better than I did last week, so I can see an improvement there. But I've still got a long way to go."

The last time McIlroy missed three cuts in a row was in 2008 as a 19-year-old playing on the European Tour.

He has committed to the U.S. circuit this year and next week will play the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, a tournament he added to his schedule only after his second-round 79 at the European Tour's flagship PGA Championship last weekend.

After Memphis comes the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco for the second major tournament of the golf season.

'Mentally fatigued' Mickelson withdraws from Memorial

The event's course layouts are notoriously testing, but Luke Donald -- who has swapped the No. 1 ranking regularly with McIlroy this year -- believes the 23-year-old is close to regaining the form that has led many pundits to describe him as the next Tiger Woods.

"He's obviously frustrated -- this game does that to you," the Englishman said.

"He's not far away. He made a couple of careless errors, but I'm sure once he posts one solid run of maybe a couple of rounds or a tournament this will be a blur and he'll forget about it quickly."

Donald, who played the first two rounds at the Memorial's Muirfield Village with McIlroy, was six shots behind Sabbatini in a tie for 27th after a 73 on Friday.

Sabbatini, seeking his seventh PGA Tour title after a poor start to 2012, had a one-shot lead after carding a second successive 69.

That scored was matched by Woods, who is hoping to tie Jack Nicklaus on 73 wins at a course designed by the "Golden Bear."

Woods was tied for second with fellow Americans Spencer Levin (72) and Scott Stallings (73) on five-under 139 overall.

"The things that I'm supposed to be doing for the past few tournaments, I was able to do," said Woods, who has struggled in his past three starts since ending his long wait for a 72nd title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in late March. However, he has never missed successive cuts in his professional career.

"This is the way that I hit the ball at Bay Hill and the way I hit it at the end of last year. That's what's exciting about it," Woods added.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1024 GMT (1824 HKT)
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT