Irish amateur McIlroy makes history

Saturday July 21st, 2007
Rory McIlroy shot a five-over 76 Friday.
Fred Vuich/SI

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Eighteen-year-old Rory McIlroy finished his second round at two over for the tournament and became the first Irish amateur to make the cut at the British Open since Joe Carr in 1965.

\nHe is also guaranteed to win the Silver Medal as top amateur because he was the only one to make the cut. The award has been won previously by the likes of Tiger Woods, Jose Maria Olazabal and Justin Rose.

\nMcIlroy endured tough conditions on Friday, as the wind gusted and the pin positions at Carnoustie were tucked in corners. He added a five-over 76 to the sensational bogey-free 68 he shot Thursday.

\n"I was more pumped up than nervous today," McIlroy said. "That's probably why I hit a 2-iron 290 yards at the 1st." He also hit a drive of 329 yards at the 6th.

\nAfter dealing with a slew of reporters on Thursday, McIlroy said he had a quick bite to eat and a bath and was in bed by 10, so he didn't have time to dwell what he was accomplishing.

\n"Interest in me has been pretty big," he said Friday. "There is so much support out there for me and so many photographers. I have never played under this spotlight before. I am enjoying myself, and it's nice to be recognized for playing good golf."

\nMcIlroy, who is from Hollywood, Northern Ireland, will turn pro in September after the Walker Cup.

\n"If the Silver Medal is wrapped up tonight, my ambition will be to aim for a top-10 finish. I see no reason why I can't get back into the tournament."

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