Rory McIlroy trails leader Graeme Storm by three shots at SA Open
Last Updated: 14/01/17 1:16pm
Rory McIlroy bogeyed his final two holes to slip three strokes off the pace at the halfway stage of the BMW SA Open.
The world No 2 played an eight-hole stretch around the turn in eight under par, but the two late errors saw him sign for a four-under 68 and fall three behind midway pacesetter Graeme Storm.
Storm equalled the course record at Glendower GC, with a blemish-free 63 lifting him two clear of Jbe Kruger, Peter Uihlein and overnight leader Trevor Fisher Jnr.
McIlroy is one of five players sitting a further stroke back in a share of fifth spot, with 48 players still to complete their rounds when play was suspended due to the threat of lightning.
Resuming one off the pace after an impressive opening-round 67, McIlroy bogeyed the par-five second but bounced back with a birdie-two at the next.
A double-bogey at the fourth was cancelled out with an eagle-three at the seventh, before McIlroy moved up the leaderboard with back-to-back gains around the turn.
Four straight birdies from the 12th temporarily lifted McIlroy to within one of the lead, only for the Northern Irishman to fail to save par from 10 feet at the 17th and drop another stroke at the last.
"Once I got it going and saw putts going in I got some momentum which was nice,” McIlroy said. "Overall, the start and the finish wasn’t great but everything in between was pretty good and I’m still in contention heading into the weekend."
Storm made the most of the early morning scoring conditions in Gauteng, opening with three consecutive birdies and adding another at the 18th before picking up five gains after the turn.
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Six birdies over his final eight holes helped Uihlein close an eight-under 64 and grab a share of second, with Kruger also on 10 under after a second successive 67.
Jaco Van Zyl fired the European Tour’s second hole-in-one of the season, with his ace at the par-three 17th closing a seven-under 65.
Ryder Cup star Andy Sullivan will miss the cut despite a second-round 70, while Jamie Donaldson looks set to have made it through on the mark after birdies on his last two holes too him to level-par for the tournament.
Watch the BMW SA Open live throughout the weekend on Sky Sports 4 – your home of golf. Live coverage on Saturday begins at 10am.