Rory McIlroy brilliantly birdied his closing three holes to boost hopes of becoming the first to capture three FedEx Cup championship crowns in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mcllroy added a second round four-under par 66 and headed to the clubhouse then sharing sixth place (he finished in 10th at the end of of play) on day two of the Tour Championship on the host East Lake course.
Under the unique scoring format in this the remaining event in the 2020/21 PGA Tour season it sees McIlroy, and in the bigger PGA Tour No. 1 title, at eight-under par.
McIlroy now finds himself nine shots adrift of money-list front-runner Patrick Cantlay who now only leads by one stroke on -17 over Spain’s Jon Rahm while Bryson DeChambeau is five shots further back in third place on -11.
“It was very nice to finish with three birdies especially after that slow start”, said McIlroy.
“I drove the ball a bit better today and that was after some work on the range late yesterday, as I felt my ball position was getting a bit too far back with the driver and today, I straightened it out.
“I was proud how I fought back as I played a really good back nine to at least keep myself not maybe right in the golf tournament but I am a little closer had it not been such a good back nine”.
Aside from the closing three holes, McIlroy’s second round was a mix of four birdies and three bogeys through 14 holes.
Not for a first time in recent months, McIlroy commenced his round with a bogey in three-putting the opening hole from 30-feet and then found himself two-over with a dropped shot at four.
McIlroy posted the first of seven birdies in sinking a 10-footer at the fifth and then after four pars it was back-to-back birdies on 10 and the par-3 11, and with his tee-shot on 11 landing just four-feet right of the flag.
He then moved to two-under for his round with a birdie at 13 but after three big steps forward at three of four holes of his inward half and McIlroy was on the backfoot in dropping a shot at 14.
Though McIlroy turned that all round with birdie putts of four feet at 16, 12-feet at 17 and then up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the last in holing a three-footer.
Speculation is rife Royal Portrush will be handed the 2025 Open Championship after theR &A called a news conference next Wednesday with officials of the club.
Royal Portrush had waited 68-years in hosting the highly-successful 2019 Open won by Ireland’s Shane Lowry and now it seems almost certain the Co. Antrim club is to play host just six years on from a third Open on the Emerald Isle.