McIlroy on song with his swing as he hunts down Schauffele

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy is confident that he is swinging well enough to maintain his challenge for a fourth win at Quail Hollow as he bids to hunt down Xander Schauffele over the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship.

McIlroy lies on seven-under-par alongside Jason Day in second place through 36 holes after a round of 68, but Schauffele has put clear daylight between himself and the field, opening up a four shot gap on eleven-under.

The Holywood clubman carded a rare bogey-free round with just three birdies coming in the 10th, 15th and 8th holes.

“Yeah, another solid day. Felt like I probably could have squeezed a couple more out of the round, but anytime you can go around this golf course bogey free it’s always going to be a decent day. Yeah, look, it’s two solid days. I set myself up for another good go at it this weekend,” said McIlroy after his round.

“I think anytime you’re playing a golf course where you’ve shot some really low scores, you know that it’s out there. The golf course is playing a lot differently this week than it played in 2010 and 2015, but I know if I get it going around here I can make some birdies and chase him down.”

The strokes gained statistics make for good reading for McIlroy who looks to have turned a corner with his long game at just the right time ahead of next week’s PGA Championship.

The four-time major winner ranks third in strokes gained off the tee and fourth in strokes gained approach. Although he is minus strokes in the putting category he knows he is hitting the ball well enough to keep giving himself chances.

“After THE PLAYERS I went to see Butch for that day just to sort of get a couple of ideas. I think just the combination of going to see Butch, getting a couple of ideas from him, working hard at it, sort of trying to rekindle some feelings that I’ve had in the past, it all sort of started to click or come together in New Orleans. I felt like I played very well there over the weekend. These two days have just been a continuation of that.

“Trying to support the club better with my right arm. Yeah, and then just trying to — trying to sort of sync up the turn through, try to sync up like right hip, right shoulder, just trying to get everything moving together through impact, because sometimes what happens is my lower body stops and my upper body keeps going and that’s the one I can get going left. Really trying to sync up the rotation on the way through. Yeah, I’d say right arm, rotation on the way through are the two main thoughts.”

Meanwhile Seamus Power birdied his last three holes to shoot a level-par 71 and lie in T40 on one-over while Shane Lowry is three shots further back after a 71.

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