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Rory McIlroy within a shot of the lead after blistering finish to round two at the European Masters

Rory McIlroy shot a seven under par second round to make his way up the leaderboard at the European Masters.
Rory McIlroy shot a seven under par second round to make his way up the leaderboard at the European Masters.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Rory McIlroy is just a shot behind the leader at the halfway stage of the European Masters in Switzerland.

The world number two produced a stunning finish to his second round, five under for his final five holes to blast his way up the leaderboard and into a tie for second.

McIlroy shot a seven under par 63 to get to -10 for the week, behind only Gavin Green, who added a Friday 64 to his opening 65.

McIlroy began day two four shots behind overnight leaders Matthias Schwab and Mike Lorenzi-Vera.

Five birdies in his opening 12 holes, including three in a row from the sixth to the eight, brought only stunted progress, with three bogeys leaving him only two under for the day, five under for the week.

However, after a steadying par at the 13th, McIlroy began his stunning run of three birdies and an eagle in his next four holes.

He's now in a five-way tie for second, along with Schwab, Tommy Fleetwood, Wade Ormsby and Andres Romero, who shot a stunning nine under par 61, the lowest round of the week so far.

After winning the PGA Tour Championship last week, McIlroy is aiming to land his 14th European Tour victory.

"It didn't feel like an eagle and eight birdies," he told Sky Sports.

"I played well, a little better than yesterday but (there were) a couple of mistakes.

"I hit some really good shots coming in. The eagle was lovely and the iron shots on 16 and 17 were nice.

"Going out this afternoon eight shots behind, you know that there are scores out there but you don't want to push to hard. To get myself closer to the lead was nice.

"It's very easy for me to be patient this week after what's happened. Even if I make a bogey, I'm having a good time here and that's probably part of the reason why I finished like that after three bogeys in the first 12 holes.

"It's good to give myself another chance to win. It would have been very easy to take my foot off the gas but I wanted to come here and play well. Hopefully I've got two more days of good golf.

"I had a great chance to win before and I'd love to add this title to the list."

Victory would also exorcise those Crans-sur-Sierre demons as it was at the same course that he lost in a play-off to Jeff Lucquin in 2008, after bogeying his 72nd hole to let the Frenchman back in.

It would be his first success on his home tour in over three years, since he triumped at the 2016 Irish Open.

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