It’s been a while since we’ve heard a Tour pro openly question giving up the game that he’s spent his entire life trying to perfect because someone’s come along and made their good rounds look average by comparison. It used to be that only Tiger Woods would make his fellow competitors feel obviously inferior, but Rory McIlroy’s second round at the BMW PGA was enough to have one of his playing partner’s publicly questioning his career path.
Alex Noren was entertaining the idea of giving up golf after shooting a bogey-free 4-under par 68. Playing alongside 36-hole leader McIlroy as well as Lee Westwood, Noren was asked after his round if playing in a group that was a combined 14-under par with no bogeys in the second round helped him to continue to get further under par.
“No. No. (Rory’s 7-under par 64) was the best round I’ve ever seen. I’m about to quit golf I think,” Noren said. “It’s hard to draw off of it when it’s that good, you know what I mean?
“I really wanted to be the first on the tee… to make a birdie, to get the honor and then you don’t have to hit after (Rory’s) 330 driver or 300-yard 3-wood.”
Those are some pretty impactful words from Noren who is not only one of the top-20 players in the world but also the defending champion and course-record holder at Wentworth Club thanks to a final-round 62 in 2017. He will enter the weekend in a tie for ninth place, six shots behind McIlroy.
Before wrapping up his media obligations, Noren doubled down on how special McIlroy’s round was when assessing the task at hand this weekend.
“It’s tough around here if you’re not really on, and then you’re playing with Rory. it’s the best round I’ve ever seen I think,” he said.