McIlroys oh-so-normal run at U.S. Open title
Rory McIlroys star continues to rise, but you wouldnt have known it Saturday morning at the hotel where hes staying.For a player of his international stature, McIlroy is refreshingly entourage free at 22 years old. When he came down to meet agent Chubby Chandler and others for breakfast this morning , the 36-hole leader of the U.S. Open was virtually anonymous walking through the lobby.He was wearing his eyeglasses, and people dont recognize him when hes wearing them, Chandler said.McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, has been hanging primarily with his father, Gerry, and his manager, Stuart Cage, this week. He has also spent some time rekindling a childhood friendship with Scott Pinckney, a senior at Arizona State University. TaylorMade TP Rescue 11 Pinckney and McIlroy hit it off so well as 9 year olds meeting at the Doral Publix Championship in Miami that McIlroy spent the summer with the Pinckney family in Utah when he was 11 years old. The boys played golf practically every day.The Pinckneys still talk about how they could hear the ping . . . ping . . . ping and the rolling of golf balls every night with the boys putting in their rooms that summer, Chandler said.Thats the same summer Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open by a record 15 shots at Pebble Beach. McIlroy was with the Pinckneys in the United States when he watched that historic rout on television. TaylorMade Rescue 2009 Who knew back then that McIlroy might challenge the records Woods set at that U.S. Open?Pinckney made it through a sectional qualifier into this week's U.S. Open. He and McIlroy played a practice round this week and had dinner together. Lee Westwood had hovered around mediocrity for 48 holes here at the U.S. Open. Then, when the floodgates finally opened, Westwood played a four-hole stretch in 5 under par vaulting him into contention for the first time all week.The Englishman was well outside the top 10 but jumped up and made his presence known. He made birdie on 13, 14 and 15, then made eagle from 20 feet on the 16th hole to get to 5 under. Fers Titleist 712 AP2 He parred the final two holes to shoot 6-under 65.I drove the ball great, said Westwood, who was eight shots behind Rory McIlroy when he finished. I put myself in position to be able to attach the flags. If you drive the ball well around this golf course, its scorable.Westwood has had his share of disappointment in major championships, hence his Best Player Never to Have Won a Major moniker. Nine of the top 10 players in the world rankings will make the cut when its official following Saturday mornings conclusion of the suspended second round.The lone exception? World No. 10 Paul Casey.The highest profile figure who will miss the cut? Maybe Steve Williams, caddie to Tiger Woods, who is on Adam Scotts bag this week. Scott bogeyed the last hole to miss the cut by a shot. Bois de parcours PING G15 Play was suspended due to darkness at 8:04 p.m. Friday with 21 players still on the course. The cuts projected at 4 over and shouldnt change.Bubba Watson salvaged his weekend with a birdie at the last hole just before play was suspended to move inside the cut line. The big names who wont be playing the weekend include Ernie Els, who won the U.S. Open at Congressional in 97, Nick Watney, Ian Poulter, Hunter Mahan, Geoff Ogilvy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, K.J. Choi and David Toms.