Saturday, 15 June 2019
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy was full of confidence after he overcame a back nine stumble to sit just four shots off the lead heading into the weekend at the U.S. Open Championship.

The last of the Northern Irishman's four Major victories came five years ago but he is back up to third in the Official World Golf Ranking and has two worldwide wins already this season.

The last of those came just five days ago and McIlroy looked to be cruising again at six under after 12 holes of his second round at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

The 30-year-old then dropped three shots in his next two holes but recovered with two late birdies to put himself right back in contention, just as he was in the final round of last season's Open Championship.

"Carnoustie last year I was right up there," he said. "I played really solid golf and had a chance on Sunday.

It's the best I've felt about my game in a while for sure - Rory McIlroy

"But coming off the back of a win last week and having another win this year as well, and just the consistency that I've shown, it's the best I've felt about my game in a while for sure."

He added: "I had a few choice words with myself on the 15th tee. Called myself a couple of names. 

"I’d done a lot of the hard work, three under through 12, and then to give that back in the space of two holes was disappointing. 

"To be in the position I am going into the weekend, I would have taken that at the start of the day.

"Confidence is good. I think it's fairways and  greens and hammering that home. Being smart, being disciplined, all those things, and if I can do that for 36 more holes I will have a chance."

South African Louis Oosthuizen was a shot ahead of McIlroy at six under after a roller coaster 70 that contained seven birdies and six bogeys.

"I'm not a big fan of bogeys, I had a lot of bogeys on my scorecard," he said. "But you miss these greens, it's so difficult around the greens at the rough and you can't control the ball. 

"You basically are guessing what it's going to do and all those loose iron shots, I had tough chips and ended up bogeying probably all of them.

"I need to put up a solid round tomorrow and see what's going on Sunday and try and keep up with the guys. A lot of golf is left."

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