Rory McIlroy makes late error to go five behind at Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy slipped five shots off the halfway lead at the Tour Championship after making an uncharacteristic mistake late in his second round at East Lake.

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The reigning FedExCup champion was unable to replicate his opening-round 64 in tougher scoring conditions on Saturday, with McIlroy posting a one-over 71 after a costly error on his final hole.

Sitting level-par for the day as he made his way to the par-five 18th, McIlroy elected to hit driver and saw his tee shot run into the right rough just a few yards short of the water hazard.

McIlroy then decided to go for the aggressive play and try to get close to the green in two from a tough lie, only to get a bad connection on the ball and watch it hop a short distance into the hazard on his way to a bogey-six.

“The lie was sort of iffy,” McIlroy admitted. “My biggest concern was trying to carry the first bunker on the right there and I knew I needed to hit it really hard.

“I swung hard at it. I felt like if I tried to sweep it, it would be better, and I just sort of came up on it a little bit. Probably in hindsight trying to take on a little bit too much.

“It would have been nice to get away with a par. It wasn’t to be. It doesn’t look like I’m going to lose any ground today anyway, which is some sort of consolation. But it was a little trickier today.

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“The wind was a bit sort of everywhere and hole locations were a little more difficult. I’m still right there, but would have liked to have had a bit of a better finish.”

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