It looked like it was coming undone -- all of it, really.
After a front-nine 32 in which Rory McIlroy didn't play particularly well he started the back nine with a double bogey at the 10th and a bogey at the 11th.
"It was too good to be true," we thought of McIlroy potentially winning three straight tournaments and two straight majors. We'd had Good Rory for long enough, here comes Bad Rory.
Except Bad Rory left as quickly as he appeared and Good Rory birdied five of the last seven holes en route to a 66, one off the PGA Championship lead held by Ryan Palmer, Lee Westwood, and Kevin Chappell.
"I was really annoyed," McIlroy told TNT of his back nine start. "It sort of knocked me off track a little bit. To come back the way I did it was great, I really needed that. It could have been a couple better but 66 on the first day is a solid start."
Even with the 3 over start to his back nine, it could have been a whole lot better. McIlroy narrowly missed birdie putts on Nos. 16 and 17 and an eagle on No. 18 by about an inch.
"I know where my game is," McIlroy said. "I'm very confident with it. I'm really happy with everything. I try to read as little as possible. I have three more rounds to play and hopefully they're as good as they were today."
Here's a full look at his card:
It was a tremendous start for the best player alive right now. And with rain expected on Friday and possibly Saturday you'd have to think McIlroy will only get more dangerous with the slowed-down conditions.
Also, this seems good:
Rory McIlroy's last 9 rounds: all under par, combined -37, scoring avg 66.89, 51 birdies/eagles.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) August 7, 2014
Yes, Rory McIlroy is locked and loaded and ready for the fourth major of his career and he's put himself in position to snag it.
Can he do it or will someone else steal the show?
We have 54 holes to find out.