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June 2 2012

12:22 AM

McIlroy still searching for answers

Interview: Rory McIlroy

Following his second-round 79 at the 2012 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, Rory McIlroy meets with the media and talks about missing his third straight cut.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rory McIlroy, who has one week remaining before embarking on his U.S. Open title defense, missed his third straight cut on Friday at the Memorial Tournament.

McIlroy shot a 79 in the second round that left him at 6 over for the tournament and three shots shy of playing the weekend. Unlike on Thursday, when the world No. 2 fought back after a quadruple bogey on his third hole of the day to shoot 71, the young Northern Irishman didn't make a birdie all day.

"I got off to a decent start and had a couple opportunities there early for birdies and didn't take them," McIlroy said. "I hit some good shots, it just seems like every time I go out there I make one or two big numbers and that sort of throws me, a couple doubles on the back nine. Just those big numbers at the beginning are killing me, and I just need to get those off the card and I'll be okay."

The double bogeys came in a four-hole span on the back nine where he tangled with two of the creeks that meander through the lush Muirfield Village layout  and all but sealed McIlroy's fate. The first came at the par-5 11th where his second shot landed on the bank and he elected to hit it only to have the ball carom back into the way.

"I just wanted to chip it out in the middle of the fairway, and as soon as I hit it, it obviously just hit the bank in front of me and came back in the water," McIlroy said. "Probably a bit of bad judgment because I thought I could just chip it back out. But if I had have examined the line maybe a little bit closer, I might have just taken a drop straight away. But yeah, that wasn't the cause of it."

McIlroy said he wasn't sure whether he would spend the weekend hitting balls on Muirfield Village's state-of-the-art practice facility or head to Memphis where he will play in the FedEx St. Jude Classic for just the second time in his career. A week ago he was on the range at Wentworth on Saturday morning after shooting a second-round 79 on the way to a missed cut at the BMW PGA Championship.

"I don't feel like the scores are actually reflecting how I'm hitting the ball," McIlroy said. "I was able to string nine good holes together yesterday. I just need to keep working on it and try and string 18 good holes together and then try and string two days together and obviously three days and ultimately four.

"But I hit some good shots out there. I'm definitely hitting the ball better than I did last week, so I can see an improvement there.  But I've still got a long way to go."

Luke Donald, who wrestled the No. 1 ranking from McIlroy once again last week, played with the Northern Irishman during the first two rounds at Muirfield Village. He felt like McIlroy handled himself welk.

"He's obviously frustrated," Donald said. "This game does that to you. But you know, just having watched Rory the last few days, he's not far away. He made a couple of careless errors and made some big numbers on a couple holes that was the difference this week. I'm sure once he posts that one good round, that one solid run of maybe a couple rounds or a tournament, this will be a blur and he'll forget about it quickly."

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