SANDWICH, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) - Rory McIlroy admitted he had a nervous walk down the 18th fairway of his second round at the British Open not knowing if he had done enough to avoid missing the cut.
But a birdie on the last for the Northern Irishman that took him to level par for his opening two rounds should be enough to hang around for the weekend at Royal St George's with the projected cut set a one over par.
"I felt a little nervous going to that 18th tee. I knew I needed a par at least, but birdie to be comfortable this afternoon while I watch the golf," said the 2014 British Open champion.
However, McIlroy will need a remarkable final two rounds if he is to end a seven-year wait to win a major as he trails clubhouse leader Collin Morikawa by nine shots.
"I need to go out and play really well tomorrow and then I need to pray for a bit of wind in the afternoon and see where that gets me," added the world number 11.
"Right now I'm just trying to play my own game and not even look at the board." McIlroy should at least avoid a repeat of his last appearance at the Open Championship two years ago when he missed the cut on home soil at Portrush due to a terrible start when he quadruple bogeyed the opening hole.
When he lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool and followed it up with his second US PGA Championship a month later, few would have believed McIlroy would still be waiting for his fifth major in 2021.
But he rejected any notion that he is trying too hard to break his drought at the biggest events.
"I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I get to do what I love for a living," he added .
"I have a beautiful family. My life is absolutely perfect at the minute.
"I want for nothing, so it's not a case of trying too hard for sure."