Rory McIlroy was one hole away from a course record at TPC Sawgrass during the second round of The Players Championship on Friday, but he remained frustrated with his display.
McIlroy ended the weather-delayed second round six shots behind leader Jason Day following a 64, a shot shy of the course record, equalled by the latter on Thursday.
Despite posting seven birdies and an eagle, a final-hole bogey cost McIlroy both the course record of 62 and a chance to move in on Day – one of 33 players unable to complete their rounds due to an electrical storm – at the top of the leaderboard in Ponte Vedra Beach.
“I’m disappointed, but there’s still two more days to go,” the Northern Irishman said after completing his round, when he was only two shots off the pace.
“But that’s the nice thing, I’m in a good position heading into the weekend, but it really depends on what the guys do this afternoon, because there’s so many guys that went low and the course will play a little bit tougher this afternoon, but hopefully I’m still not too far behind going into the weekend.”
Day did not complete his round, but he was clean enough to extend his lead to three strokes at the top, although he still has four holes to play.
McIlroy was cruising before the final hole and was a birdie away from a course record score, but his second shot landed in the sand and the world number three failed to recover, two-putting his way to a bogey, admitting the course record was on his mind.
“Maybe if I had the five-wood in the bag, I might have went for it, because at least I could have got a little bit more height,” he said.
“But, yeah, I was thinking about it, I wanted to make birdie and shoot 62. There’s no doubt about that.”
One player who went one better than McIlory and equalled the course record of 63 was Colt Knost, who moved up to equal sixth at nine under overall as a result.
Knost said he was aware of the record, particularly after Day managed to tie it in his first-round effort.
“When I birdied 15 to get to nine, I kind of thought, I’m going to have a really good chance at this thing, especially going into 16,” he said.
“honestly got pretty unlucky on 16 where my second shot ended up, but hit two great shots on 17, and then I knew where I stood on 18, and I also knew I snap-hooked it in the water there yesterday, so that went through the head.
“I was nervous over the last putt just because — you know, so many great players have played this golf course and all that, and to be the first one and only one to shoot 10-under would have been really cool.
“But I hit a pretty good putt, honestly, just kind of misread it a little bit and it hit the left lip.”