Golf

Rory McIlroy back on track at Barclays

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Rory McIlroy recovered from a dismal opening round to card a superb six-under 65 during day two of the Barclays in New Jersey.

The Northern Irishman was able to rekindle the form that has seen him win his previous three events at Hoylake, Firestone and Valhalla.

Nine-shot difference

His second round represented a nine shot difference from his disappointing opening round which saw his shoot a 74 and outside the top 100 in the event.

But after his efforts during his second round, the 25-year old now finds himself tied for 28th and remains in with a chance to win his fourth consecutive title. However, he still finds himself five shots off the pace behind leaders Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale who both sit on eight-under par at the halfway stage.

Perfect start

McIlroy got off to the perfect start on Friday with a birdie on the opening hole after an eight foot putt and gained further shots on holes seven and nine.

His driving was a significant improvement on his Thursday round, after he only half of the fairways on day one. But his crushing drives during day two often set up birdies opportunities, which he took advantage of on the 12th, 13th and 17th before missing a great chance to finish with another one on the final hole.

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After a poor first day McIlroy admitted it was due to his lack of preparation for the event. The world number one decided to take to the range after his opening round to get himself familiar with his swing again.

"I went to the range yesterday afternoon, worked on a couple of things and just got comfortable with my swing again," he told SkySports.

Rusty

"After not really touching a club before this week I felt a little bit rusty out there yesterday. It didn't take long, maybe an hour on the range to sort of get things back on track, and I'm glad I did it because i played really well today."

McIlroy has already set his sights on catching the leaders and hopes to start fast during the weekend to put them under pressure.

"I'm going to have to get off to a fast start tomorrow to try and catch those guys before they go out on the golf course," he said.

Scott, who is attempting to defend his title, made a surge during Friday's round to take a share of the lead. He made four straight birdies from the fifth and added two more on the 12th and 18th.

Despite matching Mcilroy's round of six-under par, the Aussie believes he could have achieved an even better round.

Missed chances

"It felt like it could have been a whole lot better. I hit it so close to the hole all day and it felt like I missed most of my putts. I've got to take the positives but hopefully a few more go in over the weekend," Scott said.

Tringale carded a bogey and double bogey but six birdies meant he carded a 68 to go with his opening round of 66.

Four fellow Americans trail Tringale by one shot on seven-under par. Kevin Chappell, Brendon Todd, Jim Furyk and Kevin Na are all tied in third in hot pursuit of Scott and Tringale.

Another bunch of players sit just two shots behind the leader on six-under par including Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els, Jason Day and Scotland's Russell Knox.

Phil Mickelson made it into the weekend by the skin of his teeth after a birdie on the final hole salvaged a 72 as he sits on one-over for the tournament.

However, European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley will be worried that potential wildcards Ian Poulter and Luke Donald both failed to make the cut. Martin Kaymer also made an early exit after a nightmare round of 77.

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Topics:
PGA Tour
Golf
Rory McIlroy

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