McIlroy battles tough course to grab joint lead at BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy on the charge as the Northern Irishman grabs joint lead on gruelling Olympia Fields course at BMW Championship

  • Rory McIlroy made a strong start to his BMW Championship at Olympia Fields 
  • The 31-year-old has finished in the top 12 just once since the PGA Tour’s restart
  • McIlroy was on form with a one-under 69 round to lead alongside Patrick Cantlay

Rory McIlroy is one of just two players to finish under par at the BMW Championship on Friday as the world’s best golfers found themselves at the mercy of the gruelling Olympia Fields course.

The Northern Irishman carded a one-under 69 to take a share of the lead alongside American Patrick Cantlay, who also sits at one-under through two rounds thanks to Friday’s score of two-under 68.

McIlroy, who has managed just one top 12 finish since the PGA Tour resumed in June, handled the fast and firm course better than many of his peers as he refused to let a few wayward shots get the better of him.

Rory McIlroy has taken a joint lead at the BMW Championship at the Olympia Fields course

The Northern Irishman was on form and coped with the challenging course impressively 

McIlroy shares the lead with American Patrick Cantlay who was the only other player under par

After picking up a few quick birdies to start the round, the 31-year-old found himself in trouble on the par-four 14th when he overshot the green.

However a sensational chip shot minimised the damage, McIlroy settling for a bogey before bouncing back with another birdie on the 16th.

Despite some mixed results on the front nine, in which he picked up three more bogeys alongside two birdies, McIlroy was able to stay composed enough to secure pole position headed into what is sure to be a tough weekend.

Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama finished the day at even to lead a clogged chasing pack, with 29 players sitting within five shots of the leaders.

McIlroy is looking to improve his form after struggling since the PGA Tour’s resumption 

Briton Tyrrell Hatton, tied for 13th, features among those within touching distance of the top spot.

Hatton posted an even 70 on Friday to close out the second round three-over par.

Fellow Englishmen Matthew Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey also did just enough to remain in the fight, closing out the second round tied for a share of 30th.

Casey followed up a 73 on Thursday with an improved 72, while Fitzpatrick was unable to replicate his opening round 70 – carding three bogeys and a double bogey to finish five over.

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