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McIlroy (71) encouraged by aggressiveness

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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Rory McIlroy’s putter on Day 2 at Whistling Straits was cold, or maybe it was rusty. Who’s to know?

Either way, the world No. 1’s second-round 71 was still a reason to be optimistic heading into the weekend at his first start since June’s U.S. Open.

“There's still enough good stuff to give me encouragement and make me feel that I can shoot a low one tomorrow and get myself back into it,” said McIlroy, who was tied for 24th at 2-under 142 following his second round and five shots out of the lead.

McIlroy’s encouragement was at least partially based on his play for two days after a five-week stint on the disabled list to recover from an ankle injury.

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Normally, he explained, he can be tentative after returning from a long layoff, but not this time.

“That was probably one of the most surprising things about yesterday is how quickly I got back into the mindset of tournament golf and being aggressive,” he said. “That hasn't really been an issue, it's just being a bit more efficient, whenever you give yourself chances, take them, and be able to get it up and down when you put yourself out of position.”