'Boring golf' from Rory McIlroy; a wild ride and a new ride for Jordan Spieth

'Boring golf' from Rory McIlroy; a wild ride and a new ride for Jordan Spieth

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are in similar positions entering the weekend at the Valero Texas Open. But, boy, did they get there by different routes.

Both are chasing leader Akshay Bhatia, who is at 11 under par through 36 holes at TPC San Antonio.

McIlroy is at 5 under, Spieth at 3 under.

McIlroy has made six birdies and one bogey through two rounds. Spieth has made 11 birdies, one ace, one double and eight bogeys.

“Boring golf” can serve a player well, McIlroy said earlier this week, particularly at places like Augusta National, site of next week’s Masters Tournament, where McIlroy will – again – look to complete the career Grand Slam.

In preparation, the last two days haven’t been exciting for the Northern Irishman, but they have been effective.

“Yeah, just keep grinding away,” McIlroy said of his game plan. “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.”

Spieth said after Thursday’s wild 73 — that included winning a Lexus SUV by making a hole-in-one at the 16th — that his results weren’t matching his level of play, noting that he "drove the living the piss out of the ball.” He gained more than 2.44 strokes on the field off the tee in Round 2, but lost more than 2.66 strokes around the green.

After making four birdies in his first five holes Friday, he made three birdies, three bogeys and three pars on his inward half for a 68.

McIlroy was first in the field in strokes gained: off the tee and gained strokes in approach, around the green and putting. It might have only added up to a 2-under 70, but it also placed him in the top 5.

“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,” he said. “Over the last two days I've done that pretty well and hopefully keep doing that over the weekend.”