NAPA, Calif. – After another frustrating round at Silverado, Rory McIlroy signed his card, completed his media obligations and went to work on the part of his game that needs the most attention.
McIlroy made only two birdies and failed to take advantage of both par 5s on the inward nine during a Friday 71 that left him six shots off the lead heading into the weekend at the Frys.com Open. He is at 5-under 139.
McIlroy has taken 59 putts through two rounds and made only 131 feet worth of putts. To put that in perspective, leader Brendan Steele made 113 feet worth of putts in the first round alone.
“It’s a bit frustrating,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s more mental than anything else. Whenever you don’t see anything go in, it makes it harder and harder each and every hole that goes by.”
The world No. 3’s putting has been the biggest reason why he has failed to contend in any of his previous four starts since returning from an ankle injury. In his last two starts, he has been ranked 69th and 67th, respectively (among those who played all four rounds).
Through two rounds here, he is 122nd out of 142 players.
McIlroy failed to get up and down from short of the green on both par 5s on the back nine, Nos. 16 and 18. Most alarming were two other misses from 4 feet that didn't hit the hole.
“I don’t expect to hole everything,” he said, “but I expect to hole more than I am at the moment.”