The 2022 Travelers Championship is already at the halfway point, and my, what a difference a day makes.
On Thursday, Rory McIlroy shared a one-shot lead after firing a sizzling opening round of 62.
On Friday, his fortunes changed drastically.
Here’s what you need to know from the second-round action in Cromwell, Conn.
Rory’s brutal back side
On the 12th hole on Friday, McIlroy was 13 under par, the outright leader, and one shot clear of his closet competitor, Xander Schauffele. But McIlroy hit his tee shot OB on the left, then hit his recovery — shot No. 3 from the tee — into the rough to the right of the fairway.
His fourth shot found the left greenside bunker, so he needed a nifty up-and-down just to save double.
Unfortunately, bad turned to worse, and it took him four more shots to get the ball in the hole. Just like that, McIlroy went from leading to three shots back.
A double on No. 15 followed, with McIlroy ultimately posting a back-nine 39. His second round of even-par 70 dropped him back to eight under par overall and into T7 — six shots off of Schauffele’s pace.
The new leader
Xander Schauffele now has a commanding lead, 14 under par through 36 holes, and five shots clear of a five-way tie for second that includes Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Nick Hardy, Cam Davis and Kevin Kisner.
Schauffele’s 63 was his second straight round of seven under par, and he has yet to make a bogey this week at TPC River Highlands. He’s seeking his first win since the Zurich Classic.
Who’s still contending?
Given the ultra-low scores in play at TPC River Highlands, it’s realistic to think that anyone within seven or eight shots of the lead still has a legitimate chance.
Including the logjam at T2 listed above, there are currently 23 players at six under par or better — eight shots back or less — including major-winner Webb Simpson, and of course, McIlroy, who is by no means out of the running.
The bottom line: the weekend will be well worth watching!
Check out the Round 3 tee times here.