Rory McIlroy aiming to build on PGA Championship leadAugust 8, 2014 Golf News
World No.1 "comfortable" heading into the weekend at Valhalla
Rory McIlroy insists he will “keep the pedal down” as he bids to win back-to-back majors with victory in the PGA Championship at Valhalla.
The World No.1 wasn’t at his fluent best but still hit the front with a 67 to reach -9 for the tournament.
An eagle at the 18th, his 9th hole, was the highlight of the round with four birdies and two bogey’s also on the card.
The Northern Irishman claims he has learned from past experience and is now comfortable with taking a lead into the weekend.
“Conditions were obviously a little tougher than they were yesterday and especially on our front nine which is the back nine, you needed to stay really patient, because the rain was coming down pretty heavily at times,” McIlroy said.
I think I’ve had to learn to be a good frontrunner" – Rory McIlroy “It was just about managing your game and putting the ball in the fairway and trying to put it somewhere on the green and I was able to make a few birdies on the back nine and to finish off with that eagle on the last was nice.
“Really happy with the day’s work and another great chance to win a major championship going into the weekend.
“I think I’ve had to learn to be a good frontrunner.
“I may be wasn’t quite comfortable in that position at the start of my career, or like sort of 2009, 2010, 2011; especially 2011, the Masters, I was four ahead and I wasn’t quite comfortable in that position.
“It’s taken me a couple of years to grow into that where I am comfortable, and, you know, my mind‑set has stayed the same since that day at Augusta.
“If I’m two ahead going into the weekend here, I’m going to try to get three ahead; and if I’m three ahead, I’m going to try to get four ahead; and if I’m four ahead, I’m going to try to get five ahead.
“I’m just going to try to keep the pedal down and get as many ahead as possible.”
American Ryan Palmer continued his good championship with a round of 70 to reach -7.
Lee Westwood saw his challenge fade with a double bogey on 13 before bogey’s at 15 and 16.
Jason Day, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler are all in the mix along with a host of Europeans including Henrik Stenson, Joost Luiten, Victor Dubuisson, Bernd Wiesberger and Mikko Ilonen.
Tiger Woods, clearly battling against injury, missed the cut along with fellow Americans Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink and Harris English.
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