Rory McIlroy fell 10 shots off the pace at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am as Ryder Cup team-mate Ludvig Åberg and world No 1 Scottie Scheffler earned a share of the lead with flawless Fridays.
McIlroy followed a one-under opening round of 71 at Spyglass Hill, in which he was handed a two-stroke penalty for an illegal drop, with a two-over 74 at Pebble Beach, carding three bogeys, a double bogey and three birdies to sit at one over for the tournament.
Åberg’s seven-under 65 and Scheffler’s eight-under 64 took them alongside Thomas Detry at 11 under in California, with Åberg shooting five birdies and an eagle and Scheffler firing eight birdies, including back-to-back on his final two holes.
Åberg, who made a birdie-eagle start, told Sky Sports: “I felt like I was hitting it quite well which resulted in a nice score.
“I am really excited about the weekend. We might get some wind, might get some rain, so controlling that is going to be difficult. If you are okay with being in the moment, you will be fine.”
Patrick Cantlay is at 10 under, with Justin Thomas, looking for his first win since claiming his second PGA Championship title in May 2022, at nine under and well in the mix heading into the weekend.
Matthieu Pavon, victorious at last week’s Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, is at nine under, too, as he looks for back-to-back triumphs on the PGA Tour.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick was also in the pack at nine under with one hole remaining after four birdies on the trot, only to then double bogey his last to slip back to seven under as he signed for a four-under 68 at Spyglass Hill.
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Saturday 3rd February 4:30pm
McIlroy limps to two-over second round
World No 2 McIlroy will need a tremendous weekend to move into contention.
McIlroy won his previous tournament, lifting the DP World Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic title for a fourth time with a one-shot victory over Adrian Meronk on January 21, one week after finishing runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood at the Dubai Invitational.
The 34-year-old was six under through 14 holes at Spyglass Hill on Thursday before dropping at least one shot across his next three and his woes continued on Friday, starting with a bogey at the first.
McIlroy then doubled bogeyed the fourth only to rebound with successive birdies at six and seven, the second of which was clinched with a putt from over 30 feet.
The four-time major champion went on to bogey eight and 12 around a series of pars before a putt from in excess of 40 feet earned him a third and final birdie of his round at 16.
Eighteen-hole leader Detry picked up 10 birdies on day one and recorded another four across his opening 11 holes on Friday before successive bogeys saw him lose the solo lead.
Watch round three of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am live on Sky Sports Golf from 4.30pm on Saturday. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and more on NOW.
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