Masters day two: Rory McIlroy facing uphill battle in Masters quest

Tigers Woods remains focused on an unlikely Masters triumph after setting new record.

Rory McIlroy (left) trailed Scottie Scheffler (background) by 10 shots at the halfway stage of the Masters (Ashley Landis/AP)
Rory McIlroy (left) trailed Scottie Scheffler (background) by 10 shots at the halfway stage of the Masters (Ashley Landis/AP) (Ashley Landis/AP)

Rory McIlroy admitted he faced an uphill task to play his way back into contention as Tiger Woods remained focused on an unlikely Masters triumph.

McIlroy struggled to a birdie-free second round of 77 at a windswept Augusta National to fall 10 shots off the lead shared by world number one Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa and Bryson DeChambeau.

Woods was three shots closer to the leaders after a battling 72 saw him make a record 24th consecutive cut in the Masters, with the whole field separated by 12 shots after the cut fell at six over par.

McIlroy said: “I won from 10 back [at halfway] in Dubai at the start of the year, but obviously the Dubai Desert Classic and the Masters are two very different golf tournaments.

“We’ll see. Hopefully the conditions are a little better. I still think I can go out and shoot a low one, get back into red numbers, and have half a chance going into Sunday.”

Woods sounded more optimistic than McIlroy when asked to assess his position.

“It means I have a chance to win the golf tournament,” Woods said.

“I’m right there. It’s really bunched. The way the ball is moving on the greens, chip shots are being blown, it’s all you want in a golf course.”

Shot of the day

Former champion Danny Willett holed his approach to the eighth for an eagle.

Statistic of the day

Top statistician Justin Ray highlights the tough task for the chasing pack.

Quote of the day

“You can be made to look like an idiot out there today by not doing too much wrong” – Shane Lowry on the difficulty presented by the strong, swirling winds.

Hardest hole

The 11th played as the hardest hole for the second day running with just one birdie, 30 bogeys and 10 double bogeys leading to a scoring average of 4.494.

Easiest hole

The par-five second hole was the easiest, yielding one eagle, 42 birdies and just six bogeys for a scoring average of 4.607.

Key tee times (all BST)

1555 Rory McIlroy, Camilo Villegas

1745 Tiger Woods, Tyrrell Hatton

1915 Ludvig Aberg, Matthieu Pavon

1935 Scottie Scheffler, Nicolai Hojgaard

1945 Max Homa, Bryson DeChambeau

Weather forecast

Mostly sunny with temperatures set to reach the mid-70s. A few wind gusts to 20mph may occur between 12-5pm. Mostly sunny and warmer on Sunday, with the temperature climbing into the mid-80s.