HOYLAKE, England -– TGIF.
It’s not exactly been Rory McIlroy's catch phrase of late. Truth be told, the young Northern Irishman has played professional golf’s version of hump day like he is being pursued by Jason Voorhees, the fictional character who terrified a generation in the horror classic “Friday the 13th.”
But on Day 2 at a wind-whipped Open Championship, “Rors” may have made history, proving that perhaps one can win a tournament on Friday.
They do tend to go all 72 at these major gatherings and the weekend forecast has even the locals concerned (one English scribe labeled the Saturday forecast as “varying shades of awful.”) which is reason enough for the rest of us to panic, but Friday was always going to be the rubber match for the two-time major champion.
A month of unfortunate Fridays had piled up to become McIlroy’s Achilles heel. Round 2 miscues had become a bad habit, like last week’s 78 at the Scottish Open after an opening 64; or another 78 on Friday at the Memorial Tournament after he cruised out to a first-round 63.
There was a second-round 74 at The Players, a 76 at the Wells Fargo Championship, a 77 at Augusta National and a 74 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. It all added up to a 72.89 second-round scoring average which left him ranked 181st on PGA Tour Fridays, just 10 places out of dead last.
His Friday swoons had become so ubiquitous that even after an opening 66 at Hoylake vaulted him to an early lead, it was the first thing the gathered scribes wanted to talk about.
“Whenever I go out and play on Thursdays there's not many expectations. You're going out there and you're trying to find a rhythm, and you're just trying to play your way into the round,” said McIlroy in signature honesty.
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