Rory McIlroy makes cut by hair

Updated: June 1, 2013, 11:06 AM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rory McIlroy nearly squandered his opportunity on Saturday morning at Muirfield Village Golf Club after battling back Friday afternoon to try and make the 36-hole cut at the Memorial Tournament.

McIlroy had to get up and down for a par and convert a 4-footer at the last hole after bogeys on the 16th and 17th, making the cut on the number, in the rain-delayed conclusion to the second round. McIlroy was to turn around and begin the third round Saturday morning.

"Relieved and frustrated at the same time, I guess,'' McIlroy, the No. 2-ranked player in the world, said after a 3-under-par 69. "Birdied 15 to get back to 1 over. 16 is a tough hole, but 17 and 18 are generous, maybe I can get it back to even par. But bogeying 16 and 17 wasn't really the plan. And obviously having to make one up and down at the last.

"Happy to be in on the weekend and a couple of rounds to work on things. But I need to commit more to my shots and not guide the ball as much, just let it go.''

McIlroy, 24, was in danger of missing the cut after opening the tournament with a 6-over-par 78 on Thursday. He missed the cut last week on the European Tour and has struggled for a good bit of 2013, with no victories after a record-setting 2012 season.

The second round was much better as McIlroy got it to 5 under with his birdie at the 15th before the late bogeys had him scrambling to play the rest of the tournament.

"It's another opportunity to play two more rounds of golf and I guess work on my game a little bit,'' he said. "And I guess work on it out there more than anything else. ... Of course I can go hit balls on the range and hit it well, but it's about doing that out on the golf course, and that's what I have to do for the weekend.''

Charl Schwartzel also made the most of an early start to move within a shot of leader Bill Haas on Saturday morning.

First-round leader Schwartzel began play on the 16th hole Saturday with a par, then birdied the final two holes to put the finishing touches on a 71 that left him at 136.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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