PITTSFORD, N.Y. – For 11 holes on a rainy and gray morning at Oak Hill, Rory McIlroy was locked in a familiar battle against himself and time.
“Walking up the second hole, my 11th of the day, all I want to do is be here for the weekend. Now I’m right back in it,” said the world No. 3, who finished his round with four birdies over his last seven holes for a 71 and an even-par total.
Before McIlroy rallied with birdies from 6 feet at No. 3, 10 feet at No. 4, 35 feet at the seventh and 3 feet at the eighth, he was on the wrong side of the cut at 4 over after an opening nine of 39.
It was the kind of gritty comeback that has eluded the Ulsterman this season.
“If this happened at the middle of this season I wouldn’t be standing here, I’d be headed home,” he said.
McIlroy was tied for 28th when he finished his round, seven strokes behind early leader Adam Scott.