Rory McIlroy bounced back from his opening-round 72 at the Masters with a tidy 2-under-par 70 on Friday to jump right into contention.
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McIlroy was 2 over on the first nine before a nice eagle on No. 8 jump-started his second nine. He birdied three of his last six holes and is tied for 14th, four strokes behind leader Jason Day.
McIlroy has been working hard at not letting himself get mentally taken out of rounds when things go awry early, and that was on display on Friday. After making bogeys on his first two holes, he came back strong and played the rest of his round at 4 under.
After his round, McIlroy talked to ESPN about why he played well:
"I think it was just steadying the ship. The eagle on No. 8 really got me going. 70 is a good score out there today. I think you have to be really disciplined and hit away from pins at times and know that par is a good score."
He's excited heading into Saturday, too:
"Playing the way I did on the back nine is really pleasing going into the weekend."
It's a small sample size, but McIlroy doesn't have a great history at Augusta. His best finish in four appearances is T15, in 2011.
I think we're going to see something better than that this year, and wouldn't it be something if he could get into a group with Tiger Woods in one of the final two days?