McIlroy in 'great position' to break major drought at St Andrews

·2-min read

Rory McIlroy believes he is in a "great position" to end his eight-year wait to win another major championship after two rounds of the British Open.

The world number two shot a four-under-par second round of 68 to reach 10-under on Friday, three shots behind overnight leader Cameron Smith.

It could have been even better for McIlroy but for missed putts, first to save par on 15 and then for birdie at the last.

The Northern Irishman will be in the penultimate group on Saturday alongside Ryder Cup teammate Viktor Hovland.

Cameron Young sits second on 11-under, while the dangerous American duo of Dustin Johnson (-8) and world number one Scottie Scheffler (-7) are within striking distance.

"I'm picking holes in everything and walking off thinking: 'I could have been a couple better'. but I'm in a great position going into the weekend," said McIlroy.

"Cam Smith has been playing well this year and so has Cameron Young. Both phenomenal players; a great leaderboard with Dustin Johnson and Viktor Hovland there.

"It's going to be a great weekend and it is nice to be in the mix."

Despite his major drought since winning a fourth in three years at the 2014 PGA Championship, lifting the Claret Jug for a second time would cap an excellent year for McIlroy.

The 33-year-old has finished in the top 10 of all three other majors in 2022 and won the Canadian Open last month.

"It's been like this all year. I felt pretty much in control of everything," added McIlroy. "I think the results and the consistency have backed that up."

At the other end of the spectrum, it was a tough two days for Tiger Woods as the 15-time major champion missed the cut on nine-over-par on what could be his farewell appearance at St Andrews.

Woods thanked McIlroy for a "tip of the cap" as the pair crossed paths on their round.

And McIlroy hopes the American gets the chance to return to the home of golf to bow out on a high rather than his struggles this week.

"It would have been a cool moment if he was eight-under-par instead of eight-over," said McIlroy on his interaction with Woods. "Everyone hopes it's not the end of his Old Course career. I think he deserves, and we deserve him, to have another crack at it.

"Hopefully, The Open's back here in four or five years' time and he does get another crack at it, because, with how good he's been throughout his career and how good he's been at The Old Course, I think he's got better in him."

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