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I'm closing in on Tour Championship prize, says Rory McIlroy

 

By Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy finished with a flourish in his second round at the Tour Championship to leave himself well placed to go for victory.

The Holywood ace birdied two of his last four holes in Atlanta to finish on five under par, just two shots behind joint leaders Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.

With the Ryder Cup coming up next weekend, McIlroy feels his game is heading in the right direction.

And with World number one Rose and 14-time Major winner Woods leading the charge, the stage is set for a thrilling weekend.

"I'm two behind going into the third day and it was nice to play the final four holes in two under par," said McIlroy.

"I didn't birdie either of the par fives which is disappointing as then I might have been a lot closer to the lead but no-one is going anywhere out there it seems."

McIlroy said he adopted an aggressive approach yesterday and it paid off.

He added: "At the second hole I hit a perfect seven iron and in the third hole I hit a big drive. Harry (Diamond, caddie) and I both saw where the flag would be and it was a good day to be aggressive.

"The perfect drive left me in a strong position.

"It's nice when you play aggressive and it pays off. I made the most of a good tee shot.

"We have worked on my putting in Florida and I'm being a little more instinctive.

"I'm trying to be reactive and felt like I have putted well over the last two days."

Rose carded a second round of 67 at East Lake to finish seven under par, a total matched by Woods, who added a 68 to his opening 65.

A second win of the season for Rose tomorrow would see the Englishman secure the overall FedEx Cup title and a bonus of £7.6million, while Woods is seeking a first victory since 2013 to put the seal on his remarkable comeback following spinal fusion surgery in April 2017.

Rose, who carded five birdies and two bogeys, said: "(I'm) happy with that score, it was a little rough around the edges compared to yesterday but you can't play like yesterday every single day. Happy that I was able to find a score out there for sure.

"I was waiting for a bit of momentum, felt like the round had got a little flat around the turn and then those two birdies in a row (on 13 and 14) got me going.

"I took a look at the leaderboard at that point and realised that no-one had gone anywhere today, it was obviously a bit trickier for some reason."

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