MORE INTERVIEWS: FedEx St. Jude Classic transcript archive DOUG MILNE: All right. We'll go ahead and get started. Rory McIlroy, thanks for joining us. 2-under 68 round one, with a 5-under 65 at round two at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Finds you right at the top of the leaderboard for the time being. Obviously where you like to be heading into the weekend. Some thoughts on the round today and how you're feeling.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah. 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.
This is really what I wanted heading into next week. For the time being, my mind is focused on trying to win this golf tournament and give myself a great chance of that going into the weekend.
DOUG MILNE: We'll take a few questions.
Q. Rory, nice to know that you're playing this weekend. Obviously you had a good start yesterday, but after the previous three weeks, to finish up and be advancing at this point. Nice to get it flipped around now??
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, for sure. 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.
Q. Rory, just talk a little about your recovery on the back-9. You seemed to really recover well. You finished strong.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I did. I made two bogies in a row there on 12 and 13. 12 was okay. It wasn't a great second shot. It was a tough up and down. But there was -- shouldn't be any
excuses for 13 with a wedge in my hand from the middle of the fairway. You're looking to make birdie there, and you end up making bogey by missing a very short putt. So that wasn't too good.
To birdie three of the last four holes was nice. 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.
Q. Specifically about the last hole there, just describe your drive and then your approach. It seemed to be pretty perfect.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah. My caddy said to me walking on to the tee, 3-wood. I just felt like I had been hitting my driver so well all day, I wanted to hit driver. You know, just stood up and commit to my target and hit a great drive there and it left a nice yardage for my second shot. It was nice to see that putt in, a good, positive stroke. Went right in the middle. So nice to finish the day on with a good putt like that.
Q. Rory, can you talk about 17. Nice up and down there, too, to make sure you saved par on that after being in the bunker.
RORY MCILROY: Didn't hit a great tee shot. Behind the tree on the left. Hit a decent second shot. Turned it a little too much. Caught the bunker there. It was actually not a bad place to leave it at all. It was a relatively straightforward bunker shot and hit it up there to 3, 4 feet and knocked it in.
So, I was happy with how I finished the day with those two good putts on 17, 18. Both positive strokes and good to see them go in the hole.
DOUG MILNE: Rory, hope to see you back here tomorrow.
RORY MCILROY: Thank you.