- US Open, Second Round
McIlroy into top 10 as chasing pack gathers
Rory McIlroy is will start the third round of the US Open under-par but ultimately a long way behind runaway leader Martin Kaymer.
McIlroy began his second round in North Carolina 11 shots behind leader Kaymer, who surged clear with a morning round of 65 to break the Ulsterman's lowest US Open total record after 36 holes with his second 65 of the week.
It did not start well for McIlroy though as, beginning at the 10th tee, he made a bogey six at the par-5 608-yarder to begin his afternoon on a sour note.
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A birdie putt lagged short at 13 as the Pinehurst greens began to slow, much contrast to the early starters. However, after appearing to accept blame on the previous hole, McIlroy learned his lesson and sank his first birdie of the day at 14 to get back to level par.
McIlroy soon got used to the pace on the greens and made par at his next six holes. He did not even need an approach shot at the par-4 third (his 12th) as he found the dancefloor from the tee. While his eagle putt never really stood a chance, he tapped in for birdie to move back to level par overall.
While a chance to go under-par for the tournament went begging at 13, McIlroy finally found himself in the red at 14. Another fabulous drive at the par-5 was followed by an iron into the green and, while his eagle chance fell short, the 2011 champion finished off to go one-under for the tournament.
That remained as McIlroy kept his cool to par his last four holes, but the day clearly belonged to German Kaymer.
Brendon Todd moved within six shots of Kaymer's lead after a faultless 67 but Matt Kuchar's otherwise strong round was spoilt by the rulebook.
The American was handed a one-shot penalty after he moved his ball while grounding his putter at the 7th green. Kuchar now lies one-under after his two rounds, alongside McIlroy.
Kevin Na continued his good form with a 69, albeit in erratic fashion, to move to 3-under and seven shots behind the tournament leader. However, youngster Jordan Spieth saw his good work unfold late on as consecutive bogeys at 16 and 17 dropped him back to 1-under.
Graeme McDowell could not capitalise on his strong opening round and laboured to a 4-over round of 74, which included a disastrous double-bogey at the 18th. Ian Poulter made a second 70 of the week to remain at level-par and will be back in action on Saturday.
Compatriot Lee Westwood will not return, though, as his 73 left him 8-over after two rounds and well beyond the cut line.
Sergio Garcia narrowly made it into the weekend despite a disappointing round of 73, leaving him at 4-over after two rounds, alongside amateur Matt Fitzpatrick. In contrast for the 19-year-old, though, he will be delighted to make the weekend action after playing alongside defending champion Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson.
Rose carded three birdies and two bogeys in his round of 69 to gain a shot and move to 1-over. Mickelson started well with two birdies in three holes but, after five further bogeys in a what turned out to be a rough round, it is clear he will not be making the career slam this year.