VIRGINIA WATER, ENGLAND – Rory McIlroy’s position at the top of the $7 million BMW PGA Championship leaderboard suggests there’s only going to be one winner this week. The former world number one disagrees.
“All I expect to do is go out and control what I can control,” McIlroy said. “Keep the same swing thoughts, same game plan. That’s all I can do. I could go out and shoot two 65s over the weekend and get beaten. You can’t expect to win.”
The Northern Irishman was in complete control in round two to move to 12 under. He was five shots clear of the field when he finished, and still three clear when former Florida player Sam Horsfield finished at 9-under.
“I went out and played two good rounds of golf,” McIlroy said. “I’ll need another two good rounds to win. I don’t think anyone cares if my name’s on the top of the leaderboard or someone else’s. You just have to go out there and play good golf.”
McIlroy did that. He went bogey-free to match his best score in this championship, a third round 65 in 2009 when he finished fifth. However, three straight pars to begin his round wasn’t the start he was looking for.
“I just tried to tell myself there was loads of chances coming up which there were, and I was able to take advantage of a few of them.”
Most here at Wentworth expect McIlroy to carry on in the same vein and win one of the European Tour’s most prestigious tournaments for the second time to go with victory in 2014. That win spurred him on to victories in the Open Championship, PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and he finished number one on both sides of the Atlantic. He could be on course for a repeat.
“The more I can play well and the more confidence I can build going into those majors the better.”
The only negative to Rory’s round was not taking advantage of the two finishing par 5s for the second straight day. McIlroy is level par for those four holes.
Not many here expect that to last, or for Rory to finish anywhere but first.