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Rory McIlroy rallied to make the cut at Bethpage


Rory McIlroy brought his round back from the brink.

He was 7-over for the tournament after starting double bogey-bogey-double on Friday, and fought back to make the cut with four birdies in his last six holes to get it back to 3-over.

“Pride. Just pride,” he said. “Just trying to play a good round of golf and try to get something that’s close to the best out of myself. I don't like missing cuts. It’s not something that I’m used to fortunately, and I wanted to be around for the weekend.”

McIlroy remembered going 4-over through three holes at the 2016 Deutsche Bank Championship and coming back to win the tournament.

“That just sort of came back into my mind after I made that start,” he said. “So in a way it’s calming. I’ve been in this position before and I’ve been able to come back. So it’s not as if I haven’t been in those positions before, it’s just a matter of not pressing too much and staying patient and letting the good golf sort of come through. Took a while today, but it eventually got here.”

McIlroy saved his tournament after getting to +7 at one point on Friday. (Patrick Smith/Getty)

Adam Scott had a shot at beating Brooks Koepka’s course record a day later, but he bogeyed 17 and finished with a 64.

“It was a fleeting thought, not happening at the end of the day, and in the end I was very happy to get it up-and-down for 64 on the last,” he said. “Look, overall, you shoot 64 in a major, you’ve had a great day and I did today. It was a great start, and managed to keep it going for a lot of the day.”


Three club pros made the cut, the most since the PGA limited the number of qualifiers to 20 in 2006. GlenArbor’s Rob Labritz, one of six New York and New Jersey pros in the field, shot a second-round 69 to make it on the number at 4-over, joining Marty Jertson at 1-over and Ryan Vermeer at 4-over.

After posting 4-under, Labritz, who was followed by family and friends wearing “Rob’s Mob” T-shorts, had to wait it out to see if it would stand up. He leaned on words of inspiration he carried in his yardage book from a club member, Robbie Risman, who was killed in an automobile accident:

“Keep grinding always; but look around and enjoy the ride.”

“Robbie left me a bottle of champagne for the first major I qualified for — the PGA at Hazeltine (2002),” Labritz said. “He left a note . . . probably one of the nicest notes I ever received. They’re words I live by.

“I’m not the guy who’s going to kick himself,” he said. “I’ve learned over the years not to kick myself. I shot what I shot. We’ll see if it’s good enough. Played my heart out.”

Two hours later, he knew he was in.

“I’m going to go out and have even more fun tomorrow,” he said.


-Danny Lee has been riding a roller coaster on the Black Course. He was one shot out of the lead after a first round 64 but gave back all six shots on his first nine Friday morning. Then the switch flipped back. He followed that 41 with a 33 to go into the weekend at 2-under.

“Bethpage kicked my [butt] on the front nine.,” he said. “I had one heck of a fight on the back nine, made a lot of good putts, a lot of birdies. And I think I needed that to have a good momentum carryover for tomorrow.”

-Daniel Berger, who played in the final group at last year’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, likes Long Island golf. He posted a 4-under 66 Friday after starting birdie-birdie on 10 and 11.

“It feels much more like a U.S. Open than it does a PGA and I feel my game is built for these events,” he said.

-Charlie Bolling, the head professional at Bethpage State Park, got into next week’s Senior PGA at Oak Hill on the alternate list Friday. He leaves Monday morning for Rochester. In order to get some practice in, he hit balls on the Red Course Friday.

“I’m fortunate to know the ins and outs of the various golf courses. I know where to go and hide,” he said.