Media Center Interviews

April 5, 2024

Second Round Interview with Rory McIlroy

Q. So, Rory, how did you feel about the round today overall? What stood out to you?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was pretty good. I mean, I think, you know, I could stand here and say I wish I was a few shots better and missed a few putts and whatever, but it was tricky conditions.

Obviously Akshay's playing really well, but apart from that, no one's really lighting the world on fire.

Yeah, just keep grinding away. I've only made one bogey over two days, which I'm really pleased with. Would have been nice to make a few more birdies, but pretty happy with the last two days.

Q. You've talked the last couple days about focus on your iron play. Did you see continued progress there?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, hit a couple of good shots into the par 3s. Yeah, you know, it's been -- it's been better, definitely better than the last few weeks. Still work to do, but heading in the right direction.

Q. And as you alluded to, only one bogey, I think you said yesterday your play's been volatile at times. Is that especially satisfying then to avoid some big mistakes?

RORY McILROY: It is, yeah. I think that was the goal going into those last two weeks and obviously into this week was just trying to get a lot of that out of the system and playing a bit smarter, hitting the shots that I know that I can hit, but at the same time I'm a little more confident in my golf swing than I was a few weeks ago so that makes it easier.

Q. You said on Wednesday that good Augusta golf is boring golf. Is that kind of what you're playing now?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, yeah, that's it, yeah. Ton of pars.

Q. Continuing that to next week?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Yeah, that's the -- and not just for big major championship golf, that is what you need to do.

Q. Is that difficult to kind of get in that mindset, because you do see pins and you do see things --

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I can do it. Like LACC, the U.S. Open last year is probably the best example of me doing that, was very patient. St. Andrews a little bit, even though the scoring was low. Same sort of thing, you pick and choose where you're aggressive and then you're conservative a lot of the time. You add it up at the end of the week, you're always going to be pretty close.

Q. Is there something mentally that you do kind of right in the moment or is that just something that you focus on in advance?

RORY McILROY: I think it's something -- I think it's an acceptance that you're going to make a lot of pars, it's maybe going to feel frustrating at times, but knowing that you're not losing ground by doing it and accepting that fact, that's a big key to it.

Q. You also talked about the 4-iron you're playing. How have you hit that or have you hit it?

RORY McILROY: I've hit it a couple times, yeah, I've hit it good. It's nice. From the 4-iron I was playing, it feels just a little more similar to what the 5-iron is in the blade and then going to a cavity back. It's not as much of a drastic difference. Yeah, it's been good.

Q. Rory, did you change your driver or adjust your driver this week?


Q. Rory, a 2-under 70, what's worked well for you the last two days?

RORY McILROY: I guess I just stayed patient and tried to play pretty smart golf. I mean, the wind was up a little bit at the start of the round yesterday and then it died on the back nine. It was pretty much up from the get-go today. So just trying to keep the ball in play off the tee, trying to give yourself some good looks.

Yeah, it was hard to make a ton of birdies out there today, so just stayed patient and yeah, not get too frustrated that you weren't getting the ball too close or weren't making a ton of birdies. Overall it was a solid round of golf.

Q. Conversely, what do you want to see improvement on during the weekend?

RORY McILROY: I'd like to see a few of those iron shots and wedges go a little bit closer. Again, as I said last night, the miss has went from left the last few weeks to a little bit to the right, which I'm OK with. It means that what I'm working on is heading in the right direction. So just tightening that up a little bit. Then I missed a few putts from sort of inside 12 feet as well, try to tidy that up. If I can do those two things, I think I'll have a good shot.

Q. I spoke to you at THE PLAYERS and you said there was a level of aggravation, that you didn't feel like you were getting the most out of your rounds. Do you feel like you're getting closer to where you want to be there?

RORY McILROY: Yeah. I mean, I've only made one bogey in the last two days, so that's much better than what I showed through the Florida swing and that's really been the reason for the work over the last two weeks is to try to eradicate the big misses and try to keep the ball more in front of me instead of off to the side. Over the last two days I've done that pretty well and hopefully keep doing that over the weekend.