As Rory rebounds with 65, Wozniacki tells NYT: "I could never hate him"

As Rory rebounds with 65, Wozniacki tells NYT: "I could never hate him"

Rory McIlroy in action in The Barclays on Friday.

Normal service was resumed in the second round of The Barclays. Rory McIlroy made good on his vow that missing the cut was "not an option" when rebounded from his opening 74 with an immaculate 65. And Phil Mickelson hit the ball all over Ridgewood Country Club, thrilling fans when he hit a recovery shot from the terrace of a bar perched high above the driveable fifth.

While all this was happening, The New York Times was publishing an interview with Caroline Wozniacki in which Serena Williams reveals how McIlroy's ex confessed: "I could never hate him."

Mickelson didn't save par after hitting off the aritificial turf and had to hole a seven footer at his final hole to shoot 72 and make the cut on the one over par mark.

In contrast, McIlroy hardly hit a poor shot. Having refocussed after taking time off to celebrate his recent golden run, his range session on Thursday afternoon got his swing back in the groove and he drove the ball like God, picking up six birdies to move 75 spots up the leaderboard to tied 27th on three under.

He's still five shots behind leader Cameron Tringale (68) and world No 2 Adam Scott (65), who lead by one from Brendon Todd and Kevin Chappell and Jim Furyk with Henrik Stenson only two back on six under.

Still, they will all be looking to see what McIlroy has shot when they go out today, which is exactly what the world No 1 hopes will happen.

Having struggled to shoot a decent score on a Friday, McIroy is now a beast and his comeback surprised nobody.

"The work that I did yesterday on the range really helped, just sort of got back into the rhythm and into the flow of things," McIlroy said. "I knew that my game was there and I just needed to take advantage of the chances I was giving myself."

The Ulsterman is trying to become just the fifth golfer ever to win four straight tournaments on the PGA Tour and he's confident after just 60 minutes range work on Thursday.

"I went to the range yesterday afternoon and just got comfortable with my swing again," he said. "After not really touching a club before this week, I felt a little rusty yesterday. It didn't take long — maybe 60 minutes to get things back on track and I'm glad I did it because I really played well today. 

"Obviously it's bunched and there's a lot of guys between myself and the leaders. Adam Scott up there, Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els.. there's a lot of quality players up there so I am going to have to get off to a fast start tomorrow to try and catch those guys before they go out on the golf course."

While McIlroy was doing his thing in New Jersey, his ex-fiancée Caroline Wozniacki was across the river in New York preparing for the US Open.

She also spoke frankly to John Koblin of the The New York Times about how she is moving on with her life as Rory deals with becoming a global superstar.

“I don’t want to have my name stuck with him forever,” she said. “I’m my own person. I have my own career. The years we had together were great, and unfortunately, things had to end like they did.”
She added: “I know what I want out of a relationship in the future and what I don’t want. I’m happy being single right now.”

Like McIlroy, the Danish star has buried herself in her sport in the wake of the break-up, which the article says came in "a very brief phone call" from the golfer and not a text message, as suggested in The Times:

“You start thinking what was wrong?” Ms. Wozniacki said. “What went wrong?”
And perhaps you think: What did I do wrong?
“Exactly,” she said.

When she took time out with Serena Williams shortly after the breakup, she didn't criticise McIlroy.

“I was like: ‘How can you be so nice?’ ” Ms. Williams said. “She said: ‘I could never hate him. He’s been a big part of my life and even if I wanted to, I couldn’t hate him.’ I was really influenced by that.”

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell did his Ryder Cup chances no harm by adding a 68 to his opening 70 to share 16th on four under. 

Sitting in the hot seat at ninth in the Ryder Cup standings, he's confident of his chances of a wildcard should Stephen Gallacher win in the Czech Republic and push him out. But with Ian Poulter and 10th ranked Luke Donald missing the cut, he has less to worry about than before the start.

Playing his last event before he become a father on Monday, McDowell was well aware of Gallacher's move to within two of the lead in Prague means he can leapfrog him in the standings if he wins the D+D Real Czech Masters.

Lee Westwood, another possible wildcard, made the cut on the mark.