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FedEx St Jude Classic, McIlroy Leads after 36 holes.

 

MEMPHIS, TN - JUNE 08:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the par 3 8th hole during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind on June 8, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee.

 Rory McIlroy, Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy put his recent troubles behind him as he shot a second round -5 under par 65 to lead by one stroke after 36 holes, at the FedEx St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee. Rory’s tournament total is -7 under par, hot on his heels at -6 under par are three players; J.B. Holmes, who had the best round of the day, a -6 under par 64, Jeff Maggert, one of the first round leaders. Joining them at that mark is Kevin Stadler, who matched Rory’s round of 65 for the day. Rory was full of confidence after his days work;

“You know, it was a really, really good round of golf out there today. I saw a lot of positive signs with my ball-striking. Hit a lot of good iron shots and drivers. So that was something that I was really working on the last couple of weeks and feels like it’s coming together for me. So excited to be in this position going into the week. Could have been even better, could have made eagle on 16, but, you know, to finish strong the way I did was great and it gives me momentum going into tomorrow. It’s nice to see my name on that part of the leaderboard. It’s not nice when you’re struggling to make the cut on a Friday afternoon. It was great. It’s nice to be through to the weekend, obviously. It’s obviously even nicer to be leading and have a great chance.”

J.B. Holmes was pleased with the way he had played;

“I just kind of hit everything. I wasn’t knocking pins down, but I hit them in there pretty close. Made a couple 6-footers, but I putted well. I was hitting it 15, 20 feet and making some putts.”

The other first round leader John Merrick, is now two shots off the lead after his second round score of -1 under par, 69, for a two round total of -5 under par.

There are a host of players at -4 under par for two rounds, including Rory’s playing partner Padraig Harrington who scored another -2 under par round of 68.

Notables missing the cut are, last years champion Harrison Frazar with a two round score of +11 over par.Graeme McDowell, who had another horrendous round to finish with a +8 over par total. David Duval and Jhonattan Vegas both finished with +6 to miss the cut.

Zach Johnson also missed the cut with a two round total of +4 over par, a poor effort by his high standards. Colombian Camillo Villegas at +3, and Robert Karlsson at +4.

Rory McIlroy leads in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy leads after the first round using muscle power to steal an early season march on his main rivals for the trophy at the  Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the middle east. Rory had been in the gym during his winter break working on his physique, he used that new power to wrestle his way around the par-72 course for a five under 67 that included seven birdies and two bogeys. His effort  was three shots better than Tiger Woods and four ahead of Luke Donald, his two playing companions in what was the first round’s big drawing card. It left Rory in a tie with  Robert Karlsson, who also had a good day on the course.

Rory said of his training program; “I’ve been working hard in the gym, which has been good. I really started working hard last year and I really got into it and really started to enjoy it.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot stronger and it’s definitely helped my golf as well. Basically every day since the start of the year I’ve been in there.”

 

Tiger commented about his round and the start of his campaign to get back into the top ten; “Hit the ball well all day today. I just had a hard time reading the greens out there, the greens were pretty grainy and I just had a hard time getting a feel for it. Towards the end I hit some pretty good putts, but overall I got fooled a lot on my reads.”

Luke Donald enjoyed his game and his playing partners;

“It was a lot of fun, I think between us we hit a lot of solid shots today. Tiger and I didn’t take as many opportunities on the greens. Rory played some nice golf too. It was a great threesome to be part of.”
Highlight of the day was Sergio Garcia’s seven-iron ace from 193 yards at the 12th en route to a 71.

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