LOS ANGELES – Apparently all Rory McIlroy needed to get things going at the Genesis Open was some extra sleep and a little bit of sun.
McIlroy struggled in the opening round at Riviera Country Club, carding a 1-over 72, and he didn’t fare much better in the rain and wind Friday afternoon as he began the second round. But the Ulsterman looked like a new man Saturday morning when play resumed, playing his final six holes in 4 under, holing one putt after the next.
The tally on the greens for McIlroy was more than respectable: a 19-footer to start the morning on No. 4, a 35-footer on the next hole and a 31-footer on No. 8. It added up to an 8-under 63, two shots off the course record. At 7 under for the week, he now heads into the final two rounds with a head of steam.
“Played nicely. Just saw most of my stats there that were a little better than the first day,” McIlroy said. “I hit more fairways, hit more greens. I hit it closer to the hole and obviously made more putts, so that all adds up to a much better round of golf.”
McIlroy was part of the wave that didn’t see the course Thursday after a seven-hour weather delay, as he and wife Erica instead spent the day “enjoying L.A.” Now four shots behind co-leaders Justin Thomas and Adam Scott and facing another break, he plans to lay low during the interlude between the second and third rounds before returning to Riviera in hopes of keeping his putter red-hot.
“Just recharge and rest up. Probably come back out here for a couple hours before my afternoon tee time and do a little practice and get ready,” he said. “I don’t mind it. I sort of like that I can get away, go to the hotel, not spend all day at the golf course. Don’t mind getting away from the circus.”