Rory McIlroy five shots back from Jason Dufner at Quail Hollow
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 04/05/19 12:12am
Rory McIlroy slipped down the leaderboard after a costly finish to his second round at the Wells Fargo Championship.
McIlroy - a two-time winner at Quail Hollow - dropped three shots over his closing two holes to post a one-under 70 on Friday and fall five strokes back from midway pacesetter Jason Dufner.
Dufner fired a joint-low round-of-the-day 63 to grab a one-shot advantage, with overnight co-leader Joel Dahmen sharing second with Max Homa on 10 under and McIlroy a further four adrift alongside Patrick Reed in tied-fourth.
"We'll see how it goes being in the heat of it on Saturday and Sunday," said Dufner, who last held a 36-hole lead in June 2017. "I've been there before. It's been a while, but I kind of know what to expect. It will be a good challenge to see where I'm at, what I'm doing."
McIlroy began the day tied for the lead and quickly moved ahead with a two-putt gain at the par-five 10th - his opening hole - before cancelling out a three-putt bogey at the 14th by birdieing the next and then going inches away from holing out from the 16th fairway.
Reaching the turn in 34, McIlroy holed a winding 20-footer at the third and made a close-range gain at the seventh to get to nine under, only to see his day quickly unravel over the closing stretch.
McIlroy found the bunker off the eighth tee and needed another five shots from 55 yards on his way to a double-bogey six, before failing to get up and down to save par at the par-four next.
Dufner pitched in from off the first green and rolled in a 15-footer at the third but missed from four feet to save par at the fourth, only to move ahead by draining a long-range eagle at the seventh and holing a close-range gain at the next.
The former PGA champion picked up a shot at the 10th and posted back-to-back gains from the 14th, before draining a 40-footer on his penultimate hole of the day to help set the clubhouse target.
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Dahmen posted a second successive 66 and Homa carded a blemish-free 63 to head into the weekend a shot off the pace, while defending champion Jason Day is in the group on five under that also includes Justin Rose and Ireland's Seamus Power.
Watch the Wells Fargo Championship throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 6pm on Sky Sports Golf.