For the second straight day Rory McIlroy shot a round of 65 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and that means he takes a one-shot lead into the second half of the tournament.
The world number arrived at TPC Boston knowing that a victory would propel him to the top of the FedExCup standings, and he has so far put himself on course with a couple of strong rounds to start the tournament, which runs through Monday as part of the United States’ Labor Day celebrations.
Starting at the 10th, McIlroy (7/4 Tournament Outright @ Paddy Power
) was in fine form over the first nine holes, making three birdies through the first six holes before heading to the first on the back of an eagle at the par-five 18th. He then birdied the fourth to improve his score further, but his round threatened to come off the rails when he sank back-to-back bogeys at the second and third. However, McIlroy responded in style by cancelling them out with birdies at the par-four fourth and fifth, and he is now 12-under at the midway point.
The Northern Irishman said afterwards: “I’m very pleased with how I played today, and how I played yesterday, as well. (I’m) in a great position going into the weekend.
“I got off to a nice start and sort of just kept the momentum going – everything seemed to work pretty well out there. I felt like I drove the ball a bit better today and hit more fairways, which gave me some more opportunities to make birdies. I was putting well enough to take a few of those.”
South African Louis Oosthuizen (5/1) is alone in second place after he matched McIlroy’s effort of a 65, while Tiger Woods (11/4) is lurking a shot further back, alongside fellow American Ryan Moore (18/1), on 10-under. The former long-time world number one was solid on day two, shooting, 68, but will be ruing bogeys and the par-three third and 11th that prevented him from being tied for the lead.
Woods told reporters: “Overall (the round was) not too bad – got to go do a little bit more work on what we're working on and hit a few more putts.”
Seung-Yul Noh (28/1), Jason Dufner (12/1), Chris Kirk (33/1), Charl Schwartzel (16/1)and DA Points (50/1) are all nine under after 36 holes, while the likes of Dustin Johnson (28/1) and Phil Mickelson (66/1) are seven-under and six-under respectively.
Englishman Ian Poulter (150/1) is back on four-under after a par-71 second round, while Luke Donald (125/1) and Lee Westwood (150/1) will be looking for improvement over the weekend after reaching the halfway stage on three-under, nine shots behind pace-setter McIlroy.