Rory McIlroy five off Barclays lead after a 65

Matt Kuchar leads after field completed second rounds at Liberty National in New Jersey this morning

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 14th green during the second round of The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey. Photograph: Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 14th green during the second round of The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey. Photograph: Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Sat, Aug 24, 2013, 13:44

Rory McIlroy tidied up loose ends at Liberty National early this morning with a birdie at the 18th for a second round of 65 at The Barclays.

On six under par, the Northern Irishman is well in contention ahead of the remaining two rounds in New Jersey.

Poor light forced a premature end to yesterday’s play with McIlroy, having already carded seven birdies and two bogeys through 17 holes, comfortably in the mix after building solidly on an opening round of 71.

After taking a three at the par-four 18th this morning, he will resume this afternoon well positioned to attack the lead held by Matt Kuchar.

The American also had to finish his second round this morning and carded consecutive birdies at 16 and 17 before a dropped shot at the last saw him sign for a 65 also. On 11 under, he holds a two-shot lead over Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland, who were tied for the clubhouse lead at nine under last night.

“I’ve been playing some good golf,” Kuchar on the PGA website last night.

Woodland birdied on four of the last five holes propelling him to a 64 and a share of the lead alongside Simpson, who carded a 66 and acknowledged he needed to enjoy his lead while it lasted.

“A lot of guys are playing good golf and my guess is at the end of two rounds I won’t be leading because there are a lot of birdie holes,” he said.

Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley were two shots further back after rounds of 64 and 63 respectively.

Tiger Woods cancelled out three early birdies with three bogeys yesterday to sit on five under par, but Graeme McDowell looks set to miss the weekend’s play on one over. With three holes to play this morning, he was unable pick up a shot to lift himself above the projected cut of level par.