BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 11°C Saturday 17 April 2021
Advertisement

McIlroy makes second round charge on PGA return at Colonial

Rory McIlroy is two shots off leader Harold Varner III.

Rory McIlroy lines up his putt on the eighth green during the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament.
Rory McIlroy lines up his putt on the eighth green during the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

HAROLD VARNER III overcame a triple-bogey start with birdies on five of his last six holes to stay in front while Rory McIlroy made a charge in Friday’s second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Varner fired a four-under-par 66 at Colonial Country Club to stand on 11-under 129 after 36 holes in the US PGA Tour’s return event after three months shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fellow American Jordan Spieth was second, one stroke back after a second consecutive 65, while world number one McIlroy fired a 63 to join Americans Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele sharing third on 131.

Varner, one of three black players on tour, has been at the center of the PGA’s racial and social injustice conversation this week in fort Worth, Texas, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the worldwide protests that followed.

McIlroy opened at the 10th hole and birdied three times on the back side before making the turn in style, sinking a 23-foot eagle putt at the par-5 first hole and following with a 10-foot birdie putt at the second.

Back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh put McIlroy one stroke off the course record but a losing bogey dropped him two off Varner’s pace.

After an opening 63 to match Britain’s late-starting Justin Rose for the first-day lead, Varner took a 7 at the par-4 10th hole to begin his second round, soaring way right off the tee and finding a bunker and rough before reaching the green.

Varner bounced back with birdies from four feet at 11 and 10 feet at the par-3 12th and par-3 16th holes.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

After a bogey at 18, Varner closed with a flourish that started with a 31-foot birdie putt at the par-3 fourth. He made three more in a row, the last of them a 20-footer at seven, and closed with a 10-foot birdie putt at the ninth.

Spieth, another back nine starter, had the lead after six birdies in his first 11 holes but four-putted for double bogey at the third and took a bogey at the par-3 fourth after missing the green.

He bounced back with birdie putts from 16 feet at the fifth and 12 feet at the sixth to stay on Varner’s heels.

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (11)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel