Rory McIlroy endured a poor moving day at the 2016 British Open on Saturday as he finished on two-over at the end of his round, leaving him at level par overall at Royal Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland.
An eventful and inconsistent front nine in which he dropped shots on three of the first five holes—despite being flawless on them in his previous two rounds—preceded a largely steady yet underwhelming back nine as he failed to make ground on the leaders.
Here's the Northern Irishman's scorecard:
|Rory McIlroy's Scorecard|
|Round 2 Score||5||4||5||4||4||4||4||3||4||37|
|Round 2 Score||4||4||4||4||3||5||5||3||4||36|
Here's the leaderboard as things stand:
The Open shared footage of McIlroy making his way to the first tee for his afternoon start:
Twitter was quickly abuzz with theories as to the look he was going for, including the PGA Tour's Mike McAllister, ESPN's Jason Sobel and the Press Association's Phil Casey:
Unfortunately, the attention soon switched to McIlroy's poor start. His assault on the leaderboard went awry from his very first shot, which he sliced into the rough.
After driving almost to the green on the 377-yard, par-four third, McIlroy then proceeded to send a simple putt round the rim of the hole.
Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News was unimpressed:
The 27-year-old was able to salvage a birdie on the fourth after finding the sand thanks to a deft chip and well-taken 15-foot putt, but he then three-putted the following hole.
SportsJOE summed up his day to that point after he regained a shot at the sixth:
McIlroy regained some consistency—steadying the ship with three successive pars—and in stark contrast to his front nine, he kept his score level for the first five holes of the back nine.
His run of pars was eventually broken at the 15th, but not in the way he would have liked as he picked up another bogey.
On the following hole, he vented his frustration on his three-wood, per NBCSN:
He was able to salvage a par, though, and remained level on his final two holes.
Per ESPN.com's Bob Harig, McIlroy said: "I think I've been saying all week that you need to get off to a good start on this golf course, and you need to be under par early, and I wasn't able to do that."
On smashing his club at the 16th, he added: "I think it was just I let one go right on the previous hole, the 3-iron, and I did the exact same thing there. So it was basically just a bad swing. No one likes to make the same mistake twice, and that's basically what happened.''
Though ultimately his back nine was stronger than it had been on Thursday and Friday, McIlroy will be disappointed with his showing on moving day, which leaves him well down the leaderboard and without a realistic hope of being in contention on Sunday.