RORY MCILROY IS showing further signs of climbing from his golfing slump and is well placed going into the weekend’s rounds at The Barclays in New Jersey.
The Northern Irishman was -5 for his second round when bad weather meant an early suspension of play. Pars on his final two holes will see him sign off for a 66 and in with a shout of pocketing the $1.4m winners’ cheque. McIlroy recorded seven birdies and two bogeys over 16 holes at Liberty National.
Matt Kuchar, who also has two holes to play, leads the way on -10 after compiling his second superb round in a row. Former US Open champion Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland are -9. The recognisable quarter of Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott and Justin Rose are two shots further back.
Graeme McDowell is tied 67th and on level par after 11 holes of his second round.
Tiger Woods endured a topsy-turvy round as all but one of his four birdies were given back due to wayward drives and slack putting. The world number one skipped the nine-hole Pro-Am on Wednesday and blamed a soft hotel bed for giving him a stiff neck and back.
Woods, who was forced to abandon his round on the 13th, is on -5 and is also in contention for the title. He seemed less enthused than Kuchar and McIlroy about sticking around for another 36 holes, to add to the five from his incomplete second round, this weekend. His press briefing was, well, brief.
“I’m a little sore right now, yeah,” he told reporters. “I’m going to get treatment right now as soon as I get done here with you guys and be ready for tomorrow morning..”
Asked if the pain increased as his round went on, Woods replied, “Yeah.”
The 14-time Major winner was then asked if any hole stood out as being particularly difficult to play with a stiff back, he replied, “Every one.”