Morrison thrives as McIlroy flops

Fri, 25 May 20:49:00 2012

Former England youth cricketer James Morrison hit his rivals for six with a stunning exhibition of golf in the PGA Championship second round on Friday while world number one Rory McIlroy missed the cut.

2011 Singapore Open James Morrison - 0

Morrison, a team mate of test cricketers-to-be Alastair Cook, Tim Bresnan and Ravi Bopara when they were all teenagers, raced into a four-shot lead on 12-under 132.

Six birdies and a second eagle three in a row at the 18th gave him an eight-under 64.

Sharing second place on 136 were world number two and defending champion Luke Donald (68) and his fellow Briton David Drysdale (70). Ireland's Peter Lawrie (71) was a further stroke adrift alongside Spain's Alvaro Quiros (70).

The leading quintet, who teed off early, were lucky with the draw but Britain's McIlroy was among the late starters who had to contend with swirling winds that made good scoring almost impossible in the afternoon.

Former cricketing all-rounder Morrison, 27, bowled over the huge crowds who gathered on another sun-kissed day at the European Tour's flagship event.

"This is my third year on the tour and that's definitely one of the best rounds I've ever had," the 2010 Madeira Islands Open champion told reporters at Wentworth on the outskirts of London.

"It was also probably one of the easiest, or at least it felt easy. I wish golf was like that every day but it's not."

Morrison focused on cricket as a youth when he played alongside Cook, Bresnan and Bopara.

"Cricket was my life but not now," he said. "I started playing golf when I was 16, went from an 18 handicap to scratch in 10 months and haven't really looked back.

"Playing golf is better than standing in the field all day at cricket, I can tell you that."

A former opening batsman and spin bowler, Morrison hung up his cricket gear after hitting a century for Surrey's under-17 team.

"I wasn't enjoying it," he said. "I still follow the people I played with because I love watching sport.

"I also used to play county hockey too. I was playing all three sports at one time."

Morrison, who hails from nearby Chertsey, said he had lost touch with Cook, Bresnan and Bopara.

"I haven't spoken to any of them for years," he said. "I'm not sure but I probably wouldn't have made it at cricket.

"You could always see that those three were far better than anyone else at 16, 17."

Morrison, who finished 61st and 57th in the order of merit in his first two seasons on the European Tour, said his golf had come on in leaps and bounds in the last two months.

"My coach and I have been working really hard and my game has turned full circle," he said. "I used to be short off the tee and a bit crooked but I had a great short game.

"Now I'm 15, 20 yards longer than I have ever been and it's helping around this course because it's pretty long at 7,302 yards."

Nothing seemed to help McIlroy as he added an out-of-sorts 79 to his opening 74.

"I think I might have taken my eye off the ball a little bit," he said, referring to his second successive missed cut following his poor show at the Players Championship in Florida two weeks ago.

"Maybe I'm not practising as hard as I might have. I didn't hit many fairways on the back nine today and from there it's very hard to get close to the hole.

"Pretty much everything went wrong the last couple of days," added McIlroy after avoiding an 80 with a last-hole birdie.

The young Northern Irishman seemed at odds with himself all day and a rush of dropped strokes around the turn effectively ended his involvement in the tournament that carries a prize fund of 4.5 million euros.

Ryder Cup team mates Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington, Peter Hanson and Ross Fisher, last week's World Match Play champion Nicolas Colsaerts and British Open winner Darren Clarke also missed the cut.

World number three Lee Westwood made it through to the weekend by the skin of his teeth after a 75 for 145, one over.


Comment 1 - 9 of 9

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  1. Looks like the big-headed McIllroy has been put in his­ place. Just because he got lucky once doesn't mean­ a thing; he'll end up the way many seven-day­ wonders did, lost and forgotten. He is no comparison­ to Tiger, Nicklaus or any of the greats; in fact he­ can't even get high up enough to tie any of their­ shoelaces. Looks like the old proverb rings true;­ "PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL"

    From Peter, on Sat 26 May 5:47
  2. Agree totally with Odin piecrust he def needs a­ new/fresh focus, it really should be a second major­ title and getting rid of those horrible rounds and­ making more of those wonderful rounds. As for his women­ she is prob the same isnt she falling down the world­ rankings like crazy maybe they need time apart and­ focus on there games more.

    From brhogg86, on Fri 25 May 23:10
  3. brhogg86 - Odin makes a good point here, Rory may have­ played a few bad rounds lately but he's got a­ bloody good life. The only worry for me, is he taking­ his eye off the ball? he has a major in the bag and­ stacks of money and Caroline on his arm, so does he­ need a fresh focus?

    From Piecrust, on Fri 25 May 22:55
  4. Agree with Piecrust totally here but his pissing me off­ banging on about Irish golfers being this and that.­ Really do think his Jealous of the 6 Majors in 5 years­ by 4 Irish golfers. Thats my point ya can only compare­ players of where they were at the same age etc. Woods­ isnt playing why does rtz5 always mention him. Rory was­ rubbish this week even he admits that. As for James­ Morrison's 64 it was very impressive. Im not sure­ he will be there come sunday but then again anythings­ possible. Should be an interesting wkend although prob­ wont see much of it as wont be at home 2moro off to­ watch the boys in green in the aviva for the big send­ off for the euros COYBIG.

    From brhogg86, on Fri 25 May 22:41
  5. Isn't it easy to mock people when they have a bad­ round of golf, rastaman44 - Tiger will never beat­ Jack's 18 majors or Sam Sneads 84 PGA wins, how do­ you feel about that? Easy to mock someone when they are­ playing poorly isn't it, rtz (the 1st poster) is­ the only one who compares Rory with Tiger, because of­ his hatred of Rory.

    From Piecrust, on Fri 25 May 22:39
  6. Sorry guys but where does Mr Woods come into this? I­ thought it was about James Morrison shooting a 64 and­ going 4 shots clear, while Rory has played poorly and­ missed the cut. Where is Mr Woods mentioned, only­ idiots compare Rory with Tiger, rtz your spreading your­ hatred of Irish golfers again mate!!!!

    From Piecrust, on Fri 25 May 22:32
  7. @rastamann44 thats exactly my point ya idiot it was­ called sarcasm you should learn a bit. Haha in terms of­ ability he cant touch his jockstrap? His 23 for god­ sake, wel see where he is when he is 36 like Tiger is­ now so he has 13 years to catch up with Tigers­ achievements in the game so far. Just making the point­ that his way too young to be saying he wont or will be­ able to match the achievements of Tiger and I think if­ you ask him that yourself he will admit that himself.

    From brhogg86, on Fri 25 May 22:28
  8. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Rory cannot touch Tiger's jockstrap in terms of­ golf ability and that is a FACT, folks.. As for the­ fool brhogg86, what does Tiger's private life have­ to do with Rory'sa ability? Are you stupid or what.­ if you have nothing sensible to say on subject, just­ shut up dude and stop embarrassing yourseld, 2hit for­ brains

    From rastaman44, on Fri 25 May 22:20
  9. Its got nothing to do with being the next tiger or not­ his just not practicing enough. He needs to cop on and­ practice more and spend more time on his game. Ya I­ have to agree he wont be the next Tiger, he wont be­ sleeping with hundreds of women while his hot wife is­ at home. Bit of an Idiot really Tiger. As for this­ world number 236 as you say. His 4 shots clear of­ everyone so point is useless. As for the tiger­ arguement of being world number one for 10 years. Sure­ ya hardly think rory could equal that at 23 considering­ hed have to be 13 when if he was to be level with that.­ Stupid comment. I will agree about playing more and­ having a bit of distance from Caroline though. But your­ CAPITALS of Tiger is a bit of an over reaction there­ rtz5.

    From brhogg86, on Fri 25 May 22:14
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