Irish Open. Ilonen Is Still Leading. Rory Misses Cut.

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Mikko Ilonen is still leading at the Irish Open at Fota Island, while Rory McIlroy misses the cut.

Mikko Ilonen  (Getty Images)

Mikko Ilonen / Getty Images

Mikko is still the man to catch after he added a -3 under par 68 to his course-record 64 during the second round of the Irish Open. He now has a two shot lead at the top of the leaderboard at -10 under par.

“I got to my goal, I wanted to get to double digits. I got there on 16 but then I lost it on 17, so it was good to birdie the last hole. I wanted to get to at least ten under, and I just did that.” 

“I said yesterday, one shot at a time, one hole at a time. It’s a long week, but two rounds of golf, it’s a long way from here. Got to keep the head down and go one shot at a time.” 

Graeme McDowell, Robert Rock and Romain Wattel are tied in third spot at -8 under par, but G-Mac has never had a top-ten finish in this event, he joked;

There’s always a first time for everything. I’ve been unhappy with my game now for a few months, really getting frustrated with myself in general and trying to be a little too perfect. I tried to loosen myself up a little bit and try to enjoy my golf a little bit. I’m surprised and excited to be in contention.”

“Normally there’s some pressure and expectation in the Irish Open. I think maybe coming off the US Open last week, with as much pressure and frustration and expectation as you feel there, perhaps that’s why I’m dealing with it a little bit better because it nearly feels like the proverbial walk in the park by comparison.”

“This is a fun game to play. We are very lucky to play it for a living but last week bordered on the unenjoyable because the golf course was so frustratingly difficult. I’ve played in front of many big crowds before, but maybe none as passionate here as the Irish crowd. There’s nothing quite like it when a crowd is pulling for you and it’s a fun experience. It’s something I’ve never experienced before, except perhaps at a Ryder Cup.”

Robert lost a play-off to Shane Lowry in 2009 but claimed the first prize of €500,000 as Shane was still an amateur at the time, and finished fifth in 2006 and second to Paul Casey last year. He likes this tournament;

“It’s a tournament I like playing but I think it’s more the time of year. I enjoy the tournaments at the start of the year, but when we travel further afield I don’t play well and it batters your confidence. It takes time to rebuild that and it seems to be this time of year it comes back.”

Rory suffered his first missed cut on the European Tour in 2014;

“It’s very frustrating, to make six birdies and an eagle and shoot just two under means there were a lot of mistakes and wasteful shots. To miss the cut for the second year in a row is not a nice position to be in. I don’t know what else to say, it’s very disappointing.”

“I’m proud of myself how I fought out there and didn’t give up and tried for the last shot, I gave myself a chance to try to make the cut with the big birdie putt on 17, but just wasn’t meant to be.

“I just need to tighten it all up and become a lot more consistent, make the bad shots a little bit better and not be as wasteful around the greens. If I can do that, I know my game is right there. I’ve got a couple weeks off now to work on my game a little bit, play some links golf and get ready for the Scottish Open and the Open.”

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