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Rory McIlroy Remains in Contention at US Open Despite Setbacks

McIlroyMcIlroy Predicts Tight Competition After Losing Lead at Pinehurst No. 2

Rory McIlroy started Friday at the U.S. Open as the co-leader alongside Ryder Cup rival Patrick Cantlay, following a bogey-free opening round. Despite a challenging second round in the intense North Carolina heat, McIlroy remains optimistic about his chances, predicting that no player will dominate the tournament like Martin Kaymer did in 2014.

McIlroy posted a two-over 72 on Friday, dropping him to three-under for the tournament, but he remains just a shot off the early clubhouse lead. Reflecting on his round, McIlroy said, “I was 2-over pretty early. My goal going into that second nine was if I could get it back to even for the day, I would have been pretty happy. Got that birdie on 3. I was trying to claw one back there. Ultimately, I gave one back again.”

He also noted the difficulty of the course conditions, emphasizing the precision required to navigate Pinehurst No. 2’s notorious greens. “It just requires a lot more thought… Very conservative strategy off the tee,” McIlroy explained.

Despite the setbacks, McIlroy’s overall performance has kept him in contention for his first major title in a decade. His second round included early bogeys on the 11th and 15th holes, a crucial birdie on the third, and a dramatic chip-in for par on the 17th.

Meanwhile, Bryson DeChambeau set the halfway target at four-under after carding a 69, while world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler struggled, facing the possibility of missing his first cut since August 2022.

Reflecting on his position, McIlroy remains confident: “Obviously it didn’t go quite as well as yesterday, but I feel like the golf course played a little more difficult, even though we were off in the morning… Overall I felt like I did a pretty good job at keeping some of the mistakes off the scorecard.”

As the weekend approaches, McIlroy is poised to continue his fight for the title, navigating the tough course conditions and fierce competition at Pinehurst No. 2.

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