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Rory McIlroy's wrist hurts, but so does a triple bogey

U.S. Open champion has trouble on the greens in a 73. D.A. Points makes course corrections in a 67.

August 12, 2011|By Jeff Shain
  • Rory McIlroy hits out of a bunker on the eighth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship on Friday at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Rory McIlroy hits out of a bunker on the eighth hole during the second round… (Charlie Krupa / Associated…)

Reporting from Johns Creek, Ga. — Rory McIlroy felt the pain of his injured wrist only a couple of times in his second tour of Atlanta Athletic Club. Nevertheless, his score was three shots worse than when he nearly withdrew.

With a bandage coiling halfway up his right forearm, McIlroy struggled to find his touch in a three-over-par 73 Friday that left him eight shots off the lead as the PGA Championship reached the midway point.

The U.S. Open champion jammed his right wrist when he made contact with a tree root on a shot three holes into Thursday's opening round. An MRI showed only strained tendons, but the wrap might have hampered his putting.

McIlroy endured a trio of three-putts Friday, including a missed four-footer to bogey his opening hole and another that failed to save double bogey after he found the water at the par-three 17th. He needed 33 putts on the day.

"My speed has been off all week," said McIlroy, who is at three-over 143. "Maybe [the wrist affected putting] a little bit. But to be honest, I just don't feel that comfortable on these greens."

Even so, he might have been able to duplicate his opening 70 except for the triple bogey at No.17. Undecided between clubs, McIlroy went with a soft six-iron that held up in a breeze and splashed into a greenside pond.

"I felt that if I flushed it, it could have gone in the back trap," McIlroy said. "So I just took a little bit of yardage off it, but it got up in the air on me. The wind affected it a little more than I wanted it to."

Mr. Fix-it

D.A. Points was in a panic as he warmed up for Friday's round, watching swing after swing send shots flying well right of his target.

"They were just these big bananas," the Illinois native said. "I was like, 'Wait a minute, what the heck is going on?' "

Fortunately for Points, he corrected the swing flaws with minutes to spare before his tee time. He plotted his way around in a three-under 67, ending the day one stroke behind pace-setters Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner.

Over two rounds, Points has hit 24 of 28 fairways and 30 greens in regulation. That's good enough to lead the field in both categories.

Two minutes, two shots

Brandt Snedeker incurred a two-stroke penalty when he arrived on the tee late by two minutes, 15 seconds. It might have cost him the weekend.

Snedeker, a winner earlier this year at Hilton Head, posted a 73 and missed the cut by three strokes. In addition to the penalty, his rushed arrival might have prompted him to bogey his first hole.

"Just missed my tee time, plain and simple," said Snedeker, who admitted he had memorized the wrong start time.

"I thought my tee time was 8:20 [a.m.] and it was at 8:10. That's the first time that's happened in my career, and I guarantee you it'll be my last. It's very frustrating, to say the least."

Defending champion Martin Kaymer and Dustin Johnson, who was denied a spot in last year's playoff after a two-shot penalty, found themselves with idle weekends after missing the cut. Also with early exits: British Open champ Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Graeme McDowell.

jshain@orlandosentinel.com

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