Not many players would be frustrated at being 12-under par for 36 holes at the BMW PGA Championship, but as Nick Dougherty explains, that’s what separates Rory McIlroy from the rest.
I’ve interviewed Roy McIlroy both days at Wentworth so far, he’s shot 67, 65, yet both times I’ve been a little cautious going into the interview as he’s looked a little frustrated at finishing with two fives.
I suppose he’s entitled to be, because the way he’s played this week, 12 under at the halfway stage is arguably the worst score he could be on.
It’s fair to say he could be four shots better right now, on the West Course, which is unthinkable. Alex Noren, who shot that astonishing 62 on Sunday last year, described McIlroy’s round today as one of the best he had ever seen. So to hear that from someone who tore the course apart 12 months ago was kind of ironic.
The bottom line is that, when Rory McIlroy is in full flow, I can’t think of any player in the world who can post those sorts of numbers and still be thinking he should have been lower.
Most Tour pros, even the elite players, come off after shooting 65 and they are 100 per cent delighted. But when Rory is firing on all cylinders from tee to green, it’s hard to put a cap on his potential score.
He missed a few chances on the greens early today and didn’t let the frustration get to him, although that wasn’t quite the case after those last two holes.
Rory McIlroy celebrated his first bogey-free round at Wentworth as he cruised to a seven-under 65 on day two of the BMW PGA.
It’s easier for McIlroy to get frustrated because he gives himself more birdie chances than anyone else. His iron play has been so good, he’s often putting from that awkward mid-range where you’re not going to hole all of them.
It would be really easy for him to get down on himself, but then he needs to realise that he’s having more putts from around 10 feet than anyone else in the field.
It’s probably tough for him to ignore the putting stats, but when you’re putting from that intermediate range for birdie on almost every hole, as he was today, Rory could easily feel he could have shot 60 rather than “just” a 65.
Most guys out here would be on cloud nine if they were coming off the 18th on 12-under par after two rounds, but Rory still wasn’t satisfied and that’s what separates him from the rest.
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Where most players will be thinking about a great round they just had, Rory will be thinking about how far in front he can get.
So that’s ominous for the rest of the field, and I don’t expect McIlroy to let up on Saturday. If he can keep this form going over the weekend, it’s going to take something very special for anyone to keep pace with him.