- American three shots clear after second-round 67
- Northern Irishman set to exit after hitting 77
Seventeen shots separated Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy by the time the Northern Irishman reached Augusta National’s scoring hut at the end of round two. Perhaps confirmation of a missed cut, not yet forthcoming because of weather interruptions in Augusta, would spare McIlroy the hassle of playing 36 holes of a major he knew he could no longer win.
McIlroy’s 77 was his highest round here since day three of the 2016 Masters. Added to Thursday’s 72, this served as his latest wounding experience in this corner of Georgia. McIlroy needs ‘only’ the Masters to become the sixth golfer in history to claim a clean sweep of major titles; the lingering sense is that the weight of history sits too heavily on his shoulders. His wait for a fifth major title, a gnawing wait stretching back to August 2014, goes on. No wonder the 33-year-old, shoulders slumped, looked a dejected soul.