McIlroy reveals Atlanta frustration
Rory McIlroy was left with bitter memories of one hole in particular as he shot 74 today in what is likely to be his last round in America for over six months.
The 22-year-old US Open champion played Atlanta Athletic Club's 475-yard third in six over par during the USPGA Championship - and the other 17 in the same score. Not only that, but it was also where he injured his right arm hitting against a tree root in the opening round of the season's final major.
On not achieving what he wanted from the week, McIlroy said: "I have basically played 70 holes out of 72 not at 100%, so it was frustrating not to be able to play the way I wanted to."
He added: "But I got through the tournament and I was proud of that and I am looking forward just to taking a couple of weeks off and making sure that I come back fully fit when I'm ready."
He hopes that will be the European Masters - the first Ryder Cup qualifying event - in Switzerland on September 1-4.
Asked if he was wiser now after what happened, he replied: "I think so. If I get myself in the position again where there's a tree root right next to my ball I might think twice about what shot I'm going to play. I am going to take a couple of weeks off to rest the wrist."
Padraig Harrington also finished 12 over par and is altering his movements as well. He has entered this week's Wyndham Championship in North Carolina to try to qualify for the PGA Tour FedEx Cup play-offs. He too shot 74, while McIlroy's playing partner Ross Fisher had a 69 for five over.
As for the title race, little-known pair Brendan Steele and Jason Dufner led by one on seven under from their fellow American Keegan Bradley. Steele and Bradley, whose aunt Pat won six majors, are both playing the first majors of their careers, while Dufner has not won on the PGA Tour in nearly 150 starts.
World top two Luke Donald and Lee Westwood resumed five behind after bad finishes yesterday and remained one under after one and two holes respectively.
Among those who made an early move was Sergio Garcia, birdies at the fifth and sixth - driveable after the tee was moved forward over 100 yards - taking him to joint eighth on two under.