Tour Champs R2 | Rory McIlroy six back of Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa

Rory McIlroy gave a detailed explanation of how he is struggling to swing the golf club after the second round of the PGA Tour's season finale at East Lake. 

Ben Smith's picture
Fri, 25 Aug 2023
Tour Champs R2 | Rory McIlroy six back of Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa

Rory McIlroy gave a detailed explanation of what he is struggling to do with his golf swing after Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa pulled clear at the season-ending Tour Championship

Hovland birdied five of his last seven holes at East Lake to reach 16-under in Atlanta after 36 holes. 

The Norwegian, who won the BMW Championship last week, posted a second round 6-under 64 to back up his opening 68. 

World No.1 Scottie Scheffler reacted to his off-colour opening 71 that included a disastrous triple bogey with a bogey-free 65 and is two back of the lead. 

Morikawa was in supreme form on day one and followed his 61 with a second round of 64 to join Hovland at the summit. 

Elsewhere, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Ryder Cup hopeful Keegan Bradley, Wyndham Clark and English duo Tyrrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick are inside the top-10. 

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McIlroy was six shots behind the lead after 36 holes but is struggling with a lower back injury. 

His back went into spasm when he stretched earlier in the week and at one point he claimed he couldn't even address the golf ball. 

Once again he looked in visible discomfort, barely being able to hold onto the golf club on completion of his swing. 

But he will be buoyed by a 3-under 67 to reach 10-under. 

He explained:

"I can't hit the ball left-to-right and -- yeah, I can't swing my irons the way I want to. I can't turn my right side through the ball.
"So from the top of the swing I'm just sort of throwing my arms at it and it's a lot of face rotation and I can only really hit it one way with the irons.
"I can't hit the driver the way I usually do. Like, teeing it up I'm teeing it down and just hitting a sort of flat little runner down there. So, yeah, look, a little limited to the shots that I can hit, but I'm getting by."

McIlroy claimed he is not risking injury and he would rather it pop up now instead of in a few weeks' time before the Ryder Cup

He said withdrawing at any point was not on his mind. He is chasing his fourth FedEx Cup title. 

The Northern Irishman will take one week off after the Tour Championship before heading back to the UK to play the Irish Open and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. 

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