Rory McIlroy has taken control of the 75th Masters Tournament late in the second round. The 21-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland reached 10-under-par through Amen Corner on Friday and led K.J. Choi by three strokes.
McIlroy went out in 33 on Friday to reach 10-under-par. After a par on the par-4 11th hole, he had gone 29 holes without a bogey in this year's Masters. But, on the par-3 12th hole he hit his approach shot in the front bunker and failed to get up and down. McIlroy followed the bogey with a birdie on the par-5 13th hole when he hit his second shot to 12 feet and just missed his eagle try. He then went on to par Nos. 14 and 15 to hold steady.
In Thursday's first round, McIlroy became the youngest 18-hole leader in Tournament history. Seve Ballesteros was age 23 years and 1 day when he held the first-round lead on the way to the 1980 Masters title. Ballesteros shot 66 in the first round that year.
McIlroy has spent the last three weeks relaxing in preparation for his third Masters start. He went home to Northern Ireland the week after the PGA Tour event at Doral and then returned to Florida last week to work some with his coach. While in Augusta, he and some friends have visited the mall, played football in the street and watched the 1986 Masters where Jack Nicklaus rallied to win.