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Texas Open – PGA Tour: Rory McIlroy shoots five-under second round to move two shots behind the lead

Rory's back in the groove! McIlroy shoots five-under second round to close in on Texas lead

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

23:55 GMT, 5 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 6 April 2013

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Click HERE for the latest scores from the Texas Open in San Antonio

Rory McIlroy allayed fears about the state of his game by storming into contention at the Valero Texas Open.

With the Masters just days away, the world No 2 shot a five-under-par 67 to follow his even-par opening round, and move three behind leader Billy Horschel in San Antonio.

The Northern Irishman was a late entry for this tournament as he desperately sought to play himself into form for Augusta, and by the looks of today's performance he has done precisely that.

Strong showing: Rory McIlroy carded a five-under round of 67 to finish three shots off the lead in San Antonio

Strong showing: Rory McIlroy carded a five-under round of 67 to finish three shots off the lead in San Antonio

Improvement: McIlroy started the day at level par after his opening round 72

Improvement: McIlroy started the day at level par after his opening round 72

He finished off with birdies at 16, 17 and 18 to make an already good round a quite excellent one, tying with Charley Hoffman and KJ Choi for the lowest score of the day.

McIlroy had a 25-foot eagle putt at the last to go into a share of the lead, and he put it close, but he would have settled for five under at the start of the round and made sure of that by tapping in from inside a foot.

Charley Hoffman, Daniel Summerhays and Steven Bowditch were in the clubhouse on six under, before back-to-back birdies from Horschel moved him two clear at eight-under.

In his stride: McIlroy entered at late notice

In his stride: McIlroy entered at late notice

Leader: Billy Horschel moved to eight-under-par

Leader: Billy Horschel moved to eight-under-par

Meanwhile, Ian Poulter’s attempt to use the Valero Texas Open to help get ready for the Masters threatened to leave him even more short of confidence instead.

Europe’s Ryder Cup hero, who has slipped outside the world top 10, went almost immediately to the driving range to do more work after his second round 75 left him one over for the tournament, just inside the cut.

Poulter tweeted: ‘On the range giving myself a talking to. I was utter dog meat today. Absolutely disgraceful off the tee. But I can still win. No mistakes.’

Struggle: Ian Poulter carded a round of 75 to end day two one-over-par

Struggle: Ian Poulter carded a round of 75 to end day two one-over-par

Struggle: Ian Poulter carded a round of 75 to end day two one-over-par

Later he added: ‘I hit two out of 14
fairways. That’s just simply s***. I’m so mad it’s crazy. Just hit 100
drives on the range and sorted it.’

He drove into the rough at the first hole and missed two short putts, then it got worse as he double-bogeyed the second.

Brian Davis shares lead at Travelers Championship

Davis shares lead at Travelers Championship after carding impressive 64 on day three

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UPDATED:

00:53 GMT, 24 June 2012

England's Brian Davis shared the lead on a much-changed leaderboard after a third-round 64 at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

The 37-year-old was level with American Roland Thatcher, who shot 65, as they both emerged from the chasing pack to pull two strokes clear at the summit.

John Rollins, James Driscoll and Stuart Appleby shared third on 10 under while Ireland's Padraig Harrington shot 65 to join the group a further shot back.

Overnight leader Fredrik Jacobsen slipped back to nine under after a level-par 70 to remain locked together with Charley Hoffman, his nearest challenger along with Nathan Green when thunderstorms halted play yesterday. Australian Green finished the day six under.

Taking it easy: Davis relaxes on the 10th

Taking it easy: Davis relaxes on the 10th

Davis made his move on the front nine today with three pairs of birdies. His one dropped shot, at the 13th, was cancelled out two holes later as he came home in a level-par 35.

The Londoner is still searching for his maiden PGA Tour win and is best known for calling a penalty on himself during a play-off with Jim Furyk at the 2010 Verizon Heritage, denying himself the chance of victory but earning widespread praise.

Thatcher would have finished in the outright lead but for a bogey at the 17th, having made six birdies in a previously unblemished round.

Rollins matched Thatcher's five-under-par total despite a double bogey at the short eighth, also carding eight birdies and a bogey.

Driscoll eagled the par-four 15th in a 66 while Appleby's solid 67 featured only one dropped shot, at the fifth.

Jacobsen, who for the second year running at this tournament had finished his second round leading on nine under, took six at the par-four 10th and also made three bogeys, negating the effect of his five birdies.

His total was matched by Hoffman, who was halted in full flow by yesterday's early finish which came when he was on a run of five successive birdies. He slipped back to three under for his second round and a third successive 67 left him three shots off the lead.

In the hunt: Driscoll

In the hunt: Driscoll

The pair were joined on nine under by Harrington, who made seven birdies in eight holes from the sixth in a vintage performance, Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark and Will Claxton.

The group at eight under featured Masters champion and 2010 winner Bubba Watson, Camilo Villegas, Robert Karlsson and Chez Reavie, while Watson's fellow reigning major winners Webb Simpson (US Open) and Keegan Bradley (US PGA) were seven under and four under respectively.

A secondary cut had to be applied after 88 players made the halfway cut, which came early today after yesterday's stoppage left 77 players to complete their second round.

First-round leader David Mathis was a surprise figure heading home a day early.

The American started the tournament on Thursday with birdies either side of a hole in one, and was six under after six holes, but followed his opening 64 with rounds of 73 and 74 to end his participation.