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Patience a virtue for McIlroy as he moves into contention

 

On song: Rory McIlroy splashes out of a bunker during his round of 65
On song: Rory McIlroy splashes out of a bunker during his round of 65

By Robert Jones

Rory McIlroy shot himself into contention for victory at the Farmers Insurance Open with a sparkling round of 65.

Holywood man McIlroy, who enjoyed two eagles on the front nine, finished eight under - six behind Justin Rose.

McIlroy said: "I played a great nine holes and got myself back into the tournament. I played better than the 71 suggested yesterday so I knew I just needed to go out and play similarly, stay patient and hold a few putts. I was able to do that nicely and that birdie on the last capped off a nice day.

"It was very hard after playing the first nine holes in five under par to have your expectations go low. It's just about staying patient, hitting good shots and giving yourself good chances. On 12, 13, 14 I felt I was standing still a bit but birdies on two of the last three was a nice finish.

"The course is gorgeous and it's a great way to spend the week. Standing on the 16th tee on the North Course and looking back to the cliffs and the ocean, it's pretty nice."

McIlroy also said that he is set to play in 13 out of a possible 15 tournaments this summer, which may involve him missing some other events in the next few months.

"Yes, you're going to miss some events you might want to play, it's all about pacing yourself," added McIlroy.

"You could play seven out of eight weeks leading into Augusta and by time you get there [to the Masters], physically you might be okay but mentally you might not be in the best possible place.

"Very possibly I'm going to play six out of seven in May and June. Seven out of eight in July and August. "There's so many big stretches of golf there that at least if you can pace yourself at this point in the season you can have some energy reserves left for that latter part."

Tiger Woods made it back-to-back rounds of 70, leaving him four-under and a little frustrated.

"I felt I could have got a lot lower. I could have shot six-under easily... I'm pretty far back and I'll have to play a pretty special weekend to get into contention," said Woods.

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