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It's Rory McIlroy's Time To Shine As He Heads To The Back 9 At St. Andrews With A 2-Shot Lead

Ross Parker - SNS Group. Getty Images.

It's time.

8 long years in the desert for Rory McIlroy without a major championship victory, and he's in the driver's seat to break the drought at golf's most historic venue today.

He and Viktor Hovland came into the day holding a 4-shot co-lead over the pack, and neither have stepped on the gas. That's allowed a good handful of guys to close the gap a bit. Cams Smith and Young have filled the card up with some red numbers to get themselves within striking distance of the lead. Hovland has failed to even make a birdie, and his bogey on the 4th has actually sent him in the wrong direction in relation to par.

Rory hasn't necessarily played great golf, but he's given himself chances tee-to-green and avoided making any major errors. His lone birdie came as a result of this absolutely gorgeous long iron into the par 5 5th green.

He failed to make the eagle putt, which is a microcosm to his day. He's had plenty of opportunities to make 15-footers, but just can't seem to get any to fall. Make one or two of those on the back and it's gonna be really tough to catch him.

I think he gets it done. I'm leery of Cam Smith, as he's closed the gap to two without really making one of his trademark bombs on the green. Anyone who's watched Cam knows he's capable of anything when he gets hot, so Rory's gonna have to post a few red numbers to close this thing out. 

Should be great theater. Let's have some fun.