Golf-McIlroy struggles to maintain focus amid constant delays

SINGAPORE Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:57am IST

SINGAPORE Nov 10 (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy has girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki for company at the Singapore Open this week and while the world number one is happy to be spending more time with her, the Briton admits the constant rain delays are becoming frustrating.

After three lengthy weather disruptions on the opening two days, McIlroy returned to the course at the crack of dawn for a second time on Saturday to complete a one-under 70 that left him five shots off the clubhouse leaders at two-under for the event.

The stop-start nature of the $6 million tournament has been a constant cause of frustration for players, fans and the organisers but apart from dropping three shots in three holes early in his second round, McIlroy has played solid golf to remain in contention.

"The course is not easy but especially having to go out and come back in. It's been a frustrating few days," McIlroy told reporters at the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event.

"Obviously it would be nice to play a nice stretch of golf and not have to stop and start all the time but that's just the way it is and I have to deal with it but I'm pretty pleased with my two-under.

"It definitely could have been a bit better. My putting hasn't been as sharp as it usually is so I feel like if I can throw in a few more putts, the score would be better for me."

OFF SEASON

Any further rain delays could force organisers to reduce the event to 54 holes, meaning McIlroy would have a mountain to climb to even claim a top-three finish that would ensure he won the European Tour order of merit with two events to spare.

"I am looking at starting at least five behind the first so I'm going to try and play the best I can and see what happens," said McIlroy, who will compete at the Hong Kong Open next week before heading to Dubai for the European Tour's final event.

Looking relaxed and enjoying life in a year that has already garnered a second major, a Ryder Cup triumph and top spot in the U.S. PGA Tour order of merit, McIlroy is also delighted to have Danish world number 10 Wozniacki cheering him on this week.

"Yes, it's great, this is her off season," he added.

"This is a chance to take a break but getting up at 5 a.m. to watch me play golf isn't exactly my idea of a holiday so hopefully after tomorrow or whenever we're done, we can get a couple of days off before going to Hong Kong.

"It's good to have her here and she'll be with me in Hong Kong, Dubai also and it's nice to get to spend some time with her." (Editing by Ian Ransom)

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