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McIlroy scrambles to make cut at Wentworth

Padraig Harrington did likewise, while Shane Lowry is slightly better placed than either of them.

Rory McIlroy just made the cut at Wentworth.
Rory McIlroy just made the cut at Wentworth.

RORY MCILROY SCRAPED into the weekend at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where Jon Rahm and Danny Willett claimed a share of the lead at 11-under through 36 holes.

McIlroy’s first round had unravelled in spectacular fashion as he carded a four-over-par 76, leaving him with plenty of work to do when he headed back out onto the course today.

The world number two needed to get back to one-over to make the cut but saw his early progress, with two birdies in four holes, checked by a bogey at the fifth.

McIlroy was still two strokes shy of his target with five holes remaining but picked up shots at the par-three 14th and par-four 16th to get the job done. At one-over, he is fully 12 shots from the leaders. 

“I guess I played a bit better today – while still not quite feeling in sync with everything,” McIlroy told Sky Sports.

“I battled well, the conditions were a lot trickier out there today than they were yesterday [Thursday]. I definitely didn’t think I was going to get into a position where I didn’t need to birdie either of the [last two] holes coming in.”

Shane Lowry endured a wildly oscillating day to finish one-under for the day and the tournament, having played yesterday’s round at even-par. The Open champion bogeyed the first but birdied holes four and seven before bogeying nine. He then hit birdied on 11, 12, and 18, but much of that good work was undone by a double bogey on the par-four 15th. 

Padraig Harrington made like McIlroy and scraped inside the cut line at one-over, while Paul Dunne brought his difficult week to an early end with a five-over 77, following yesterday’s eight-over 80. 

Rahm, meanwhile, had already been in contention with a 66 on Thursday but started poorly with bogeys at the first and second.

A fine recovery followed, with four birdies on the bounce, yet he was still two shots shy of Willett’s clubhouse target of 11 under for the week until a superb eagle at the last.

Willett might have been in an even stronger position, having been five under for the day through five and eight under through 12, signing for seven under as his form faltered on the way back.

He acknowledged: “I’m probably not back to my best, and I’m still working on the moves and there’s still shots in there that I don’t like.”

Home hopeful Justin Rose is two shots back and is joined in a tie for third by Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Henrik Stenson, while Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed are both in the top 20.

Matt Wallace had led overnight but collapsed completely with seven bogeys in a four-over round.

Tommy Fleetwood, like McIlroy, came close to missing the cut, albeit in different fashion – carding a three-over 75 on a disappointing day.

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