McIlroy says knee is OK after second-round 78

Rory McIlroy brought a three-shot lead into the second round at the Memorial, but that evaporated quickly.

Rory McIlroy reacts to his bunker shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Memorial Tournament.

Joseph Maiorana / USA TODAY Sports

DUBLIN, Ohio - Rory McIlroy brought a three-shot lead into the second round at the Memorial, but that evaporated quickly.

On a three hole stretch of three double bogeys, to be exact.

Teeing off Friday morning at Muirfield Village Golf Club's No. 10, McIlroy made double bogeys on Nos. 13-15 on his way to a back-nine 43 -- or 11 shots worse than he played the back nine as part of a blazing 63 in the first round.

McIlroy rebounded to shoot 1-under on the front and finish at 78 for the day and -3 for the tournament, good enough to be in the mix and maybe even in contention.

Of greater concern with the U.S. Open two weeks away is a left knee issue McIlroy has been battling since early in his round Thursday, something he called a strained MCL but "just a tweak," something that was "no worry" before Thursday.

"It's a little tender, a little sore," he said.

McIlroy said he has not considered withdrawing from the Memorial and doesn't think it's a long-term injury. He said he's been treating it with a compression machine and cutting back on his range work.

"Just some ice and painkillers," he said of his treatment plan, adding it was sore as he started his Friday morning but felt better "when the painkillers kicked in."

His nightmarish three-hole stretch Friday included a double hit on 15, something McIlroy reported to a rules official and resulted in a one-stroke penalty. He ended up with a 7 on the 529-yard par 5.

"I missed fairways," McIlroy said. "I didn't realize how thick the rough was because I wasn't in there (Thursday). It was pretty thick."