SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - Rory McIlroy's chance to bounce right up on his healing left ankle and win another major might have come and gone Saturday. The defending PGA champion appeared ready to make a run when he went 4 under through the first five holes, then played par golf the rest of the way for a 68. Par was not good enough at Whistling Straits.

"In the back of your mind, you still think you have a chance because that's what your competitive nature tells you," said McIlroy, who is at 6 under overall. "But if you're looking at it realistically . . . I want to go out there tomorrow and shoot the best score that I've shot this week."

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It does not appear he will play in The Barclays, this year's only PGA Tour stop in the New York area, the week after next. "I'm going to take a couple of weeks off just to sort of reassess everything, and I'll start back in the playoffs in Boston," McIlroy said, referring to the Deutsche Bank Championship, which is the week after the Barclays in Edison, New Jersey.

Dustin hangs in there

Dustin Johnson will not carry the burden of expectation into Sunday's round. He stumbled after taking the first-round lead, shot 1-over-par 73 in the second round completed yesterday morning, then bounced back with a 68 in the afternoon. At 9 under, he is not real close, but in the neighborhood of the leaders.

Be Straits with me

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Just where is Whistling Straits? Television networks say it is in Kohler, a town name that has corporate resonance. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Golf Digest dateline their stories in Haven. Golfweek says it is in Mosel. The Associated Press and many newspapers, including this one, consider the course to be in Sheboygan. The latter does have a sports pedigree. The Sheboygan Red Skins were a charter member of the NBA in 1949-50, playing games in the small city's 3,500-seat armory.