Rory McIlroy is still determined to “finish the season on a high” despite his “frustrating” opening two rounds at the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City.
The Irishman arrived in South Africa declaring that he could defy the odds and lift a fourth Race to Dubai title by winning this week and again at next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
But a second-round 71 at the Gary Player Country Club left him eight shots behind pacesetter Sergio Garcia and, although it is still a possibility, the chances of him denying Francesco Molinari the Harry Vardon Trophy a week on Sunday are getting more unlikely by the round.
“It has been a frustrating couple of days,” McIlroy said. “My game is not really where I want it to be, but I’ve got two more opportunities to try and put a couple of good rounds together and then go to Dubai and try to finish the season on a high.
“I haven’t been putting myself in position off the tee to give myself chances to get it close enough to have a good look at birdie.”
Garcia leads by one over home favourite Louis Oosthuizen. Two bogeys in his last three holes brought the Spaniard back to the field on nine under par after his own 71.
Finland’s Mikko Korhohen is two further back from Oosthuizen, who shot a fine 67, following a 70. England’s Lee Westwood is in a group in a tie for fourth on four under after a 69.