Masters 2011 Round 2: Will Rory McIlroy hold his lead?

Irishman Rory McIlroy and Spaniard Alvaro Quiros are tied for first place in the 2011 Masters golf tournament. Who is most likely to keep the lead in Round 2 today?

By , Staff

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    Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the 2011 Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2011, in Augusta, Ga.
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[UPDATE Friday 3 p.m.: After the first nine holes, Rory McIlory is 10-under par, and still leading.]

Rory McIlroy has been here before. He understands the pressures and expectations.

Yesterday, he posted a 65 for a share of the lead at Augusta National with Alvaro Quiros.

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But the difference between McIlroy and Quiros: Twice before Rory has lead majors after the first round. He posted a 63 at the British Open last year, but followed with an 80 in the second round.

Quiros has not made it past Round 2 at Augusta in his past two attempts.

McIlroy finished third at both the British Open and the PGA Championship last year. The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland is confident and ready.

“I wouldn’t say it [the 65 at Augusta Thursday] was as spectacular as my 63 at St. Andrews, but it was very solid from start to finish,” said McIlroy yesterday. “I think what happened at St. Andrews will be a massive help to me. Looking back, it was a valuable lesson in my development.

“I feel like I’m better prepared to tee off in the second round of a major with the lead.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Spaniard, a five-time winner on the European Tour, says: "My target [today] is make the cut. It would be stupid to think about shooting 65 again because it's not my way."

After a perfect day of conditions Thursday, where 30 of the 99 golfers shot under par, the temperature is expected to rise today, making the greens a little faster. The pin placement will be a little tougher, too.

Quiros tees off at 10:41 a.m. today. He'll be paired with Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas (even) and American Gary Woodland (-3)

McIlroy tees of at 12:42 p.m. today. He'll be paired with Australian Jason Day (even), and American Rickie Fowler (-2).

Quiros and McIlroy have a two-shot lead over the nearest in the field.

Who will hold the lead coming out of Round 2?

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