Optimistic McIlroy has no qualms with Open draw


Rory McIlroy remains confident of challenging for Open glory and insists he has no complaints about the draw having contended with tricky conditions at Royal Troon on Friday.

The world number four, Open champion in 2014, carded a level-par 71 for his second round to leave him at two under for the tournament and eight shots adrift of leader Phil Mickelson.

Favourable morning conditions meant that the early starters were able to piece together good scores, but the forecast wet and windy conditions soon arrived and played havoc with the late starters.

For his part, McIlroy hit four birdies and as many bogeys in a battling display and, although he concedes it will be difficult to play catch up if the weather remain tricky, the Northern Irishman is not giving up on getting his hands back on the Claret Jug.

"It's the Open Championship. Some draws go your way and some draws don't. The last Open I played, I got the good end of the draw and good things happened that week," he said. 

"This year it's not so much. But, I'm not going to let being on the wrong side ruin my mood or ruin my week. I feel like I've played very well and that gives me optimism going into the weekend.

"I played the front nine well especially. So if I can get off to a similar start tomorrow and get a little closer to the leaders, play the back nine a little better, you never know.

"It really depends what the conditions are like. I think it's going to be drier tomorrow, but maybe the same amount of wind. Depending on what direction it comes from, again, you've seen guys shoot four, five, six under par on the front nine.

"So if I can do that and get closer to the leaders, the back nine, no matter what wind you get, is going to be very difficult. So, again, I just need to try to get off to a fast start.

"But I feel like it's possible. There are 36 holes to go. Obviously the guys at the top of the leaderboard are playing very well. I had a chance to watch Phil yesterday afternoon and this morning, and it's the best I've seen him play in a long, long time.

"His swing's good. He's got his ball flight under control. He seems like he's putting well. And obviously Henrik [Stenson] and the guys that are up there as well, they're going to be tough to beat.

"But I've given people head starts before and been able to win, and I'm just going to try to draw on those memories."