Rory McIlroy was moving up the leaderboard at the PGA Championship on Friday in San Francisco. Then he got to the 12th green at Harding Park.
Three miserable putts later, and the former world No. 1 dropped from 3 under to even par for the tournament. More importantly, the triple bogey put him eight shots out of the 36-hole lead.
And it's not as though McIlroy had a lag putt followed by two testers; all of the putts were seven feet or shorter.
Before the meltdown on the par-4 12th, McIlroy — who is playing with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas in the first two days of the tournament — had made four consecutive birdies on Holes 7-10 before parring the 11th. He shot an even-par 70 in his first round Thursday.
He also unwittingly foreshadowed the prospect of blowing up on the green in Round 2.
"Need to hit a few more fairways (Friday) to try to attack some pins and get it closer, and not leave myself four- and five-footers for par all day," he told reporters.
McIlroy recovered well after the misstep. He made five pars and a birdie in his final six holes to finish at 1 under for the round and tournament. He made the cut and will play on the weekend. He is, however, still seven strokes behind leader Haotong Li.