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August 9 2013

4:36 PM

Rory rallies to make it to weekend

McIlroy is even par through 36 holes at Oak Hill. (Carr/Getty Images)

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Six months ago, Rory McIlroy might not have been able to recover (see, The Honda Classic).

Friday at Oak Hill, however, the former No. 1 rallied with four birdies over his final seven holes to shoot 71, putting him at even par and safely through to the weekend at the PGA Championship.

Only once in his young career has McIlroy missed the cut in back-to-back majors, in 2010, but that's what he was facing after a shaky start in a rain-soaked second round.

McIlroy bogeyed his first hole of the day, No. 10, before making double bogey on the par-3 15th and adding two more bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18.

"I was letting the round get away from me somewhat," McIlroy said. "I had some nice shots coming in and more importantly for me hit some good putts coming in, which was good to see. Pretty happy and just looking forward to the weekend."

Considering how his season has gone and where his round was going, it was a step in the right direction for McIlroy.

Once the rain lightened, McIlroy worked his way back into it, hitting a 3-iron to 6 feet on the par-3 third.

He added another birdie on the par-5 fourth, chipping to 8 feet and making the putt.

Three holes later, McIlroy drained a 40-foot putt from just off the green before his final birdie from 3 feet on the next hole.

"It makes me feel good because maybe in the middle of the season or a couple of months ago I wouldn't have been standing up here," McIlroy said. "I would have been going home. It's good to be able to do that and fight back and it makes you feel good about yourself going into the weekend."

Could it be the turning point that the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational was a year ago when, coming off a series of missed cuts, McIlroy finished fifth at Firestone a week before his record-setting victory at Kiawah Island?

"Could be, yeah," McIlroy said.

At least he'll be around for the weekend to find out.

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