Rory McIlroy three off the halfway lead at Tournament of Champions
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 06/01/19 6:36am
Rory McIlroy birdied four of his last seven holes to move three shots off the pace after the second round of Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The Northern Irishman - making his tournament debut - carded a second-round 68 in Hawaii to get to nine under and stay in touch with midway pacesetter Gary Woodland.
Woodland posted a second successive 67 to pull clear of the chasing pack, with Bryson Chambeau and overnight leader Kevin Tway joining McIlroy in a share of second.
"It has been a nice start to the year," McIlroy said. "It is something to build on going into the weekend. I just need to keep hitting good golf shots and giving myself chances."
McIlroy bogeyed the fourth after taking a penalty drop off the tee, but made a two-putt birdie from the fringe at the next and holed an eight-footer at the ninth to reach the turn in 35.
The 29-year-old converted from close range at the 11th and picked up a shot at the 13th, before cancelling out a missed chance from six feet at the 15th to birdie the next and the par-five last.
Starting a shot off the pace on the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Woodland three-putted the second but made a tap-in gain at the next and added a two-putt gain from 10 feet at the reachable par-five fifth.
Heading into the back nine level-par after a long-range three-putt at the seventh, Woodland pitched in at the 11th for the first of five straight gains before extending his lead with a final-hole birdie.
Tway followed up his opening-round 66 by mixing three birdies with a sole blemish in a second-round 69, while DeChambeau fired a bogey-free 68 to also move into the share of the second.
Marc Leishman holds fifth spot ahead of Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Cameron Champ, with Ian Poulter up into tied-ninth spot after a four-under 69.
Watch the Sentry Tournament of Champions throughout the weekend on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 9pm on Sky Sports Golf.