Closing eagle leaves Rory McIlroy one behind in Shanghai

Matt Fitzpatrick leads at WGC-HSBC Champions as McIlroy cards second consecutive 67

 Rory McIlroy plays his second shot on the par five 18th hole to set up a finishing eagle during the second round of the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club  in Shanghai, China. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy plays his second shot on the par five 18th hole to set up a finishing eagle during the second round of the WGC HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

A brilliant finishing eagle saw Rory McIlroy card a second consecutive 67 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai to sit one shot behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick heading into the third round.

McIlroy produced the shot of the day at the 538-yard par-five 18th, sending his second shot in to within three feet of the hole before sinking his putt for an eagle three and a 36-hole total of 10 under par.

The Northern Irishman strung together four straight birdies from the third hole and sank another at the 13th, but bogeys at the ninth and 16th left him one stroke adrift of Fitzpatrick. The second 67 matches McIlroy’s average score across all tournaments since his missed cut at the British Open at Portrush in July.

Matt Fitzpatrick walks towards the 18th green. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Matt Fitzpatrick walks towards the 18th green. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The victor that week was Shane Lowry but the Offalyman sits 11 shots off the pace in China after a second level par round of 72 which again left him frustrated as a bogey at the sixth and a double bogey at the ninth undid the good work of three birdies on the way out before he came home with nine consecutive pars to head into the weekend in a tie for 50th.

England’s Fitzpatrick followed up his opening-round 66 with a bogey-free five-under 67 with birdies at the third, 12th, 13th, 17th and 18th to stay ahead of the field.

American Xander Schauffele, South Korea’s Sung-jae Im and Australian Adam Scott, who all shot opening rounds of 66, finished the second day with 69s to sit tied in third place, two shots behind Fitzpatrick.

China’s overnight leader Haotong Li, who carded a 64 on the first day, finished his second round on level par and dropped to sixth place alongside France’s Victor Perez.

McIlroy plays a shot from a bunker. Photo: Hector Retamal/Getty Images
McIlroy plays a shot from a bunker. Photo: Hector Retamal/Getty Images

England’s Paul Waring swept up the leaderboard, climbing 46 places for a share of ninth place with Austria’s Matthias Schwab after a seven-under par 65, which included five birdies and an eagle at the 18th.

American pair Bubba Watson and Kevin Kisner are tied for 11th, one shot further back after rounds of 69 and 67 respectively, while Justin Rose sits among them after a two-under round of 70.

Collated second round scores in the WGC — HSBC Champions, Sheshan International GC, China (British unless stated, par 72):

133 Matthew Fitzpatrick 66 67

134 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 67 67

135 Adam Scott (Aus) 66 69, Xander Schauffele (USA) 66 69, Sungjae Im (Kor) 66 69

136 Haotong Li (Chn) 64 72, Victor Perez (Fra) 65 71

137 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 68 69

138 Paul Waring 73 65, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 67 71

139 Jason Kokrak (USA) 69 70, Bubba Watson (USA) 70 69, Tony Finau (USA) 69 70, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 70 69, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 68 71, Justin Rose 69 70, Robert Macintyre 70 69, Yechun Yuan (Chn) 69 70, Kevin Kisner (USA) 72 67

140 Phil Mickelson (USA) 71 69, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 72 68, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 69 71, Billy Horschel (USA) 69 71, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 70 70, Corey Conners (Can) 67 73

141 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 74 67, Chan Kim (USA) 71 70, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 68 73, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 71 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 69 72, Patrick Reed (USA) 72 69

142 JT Poston (USA) 69 73, Matthew Millar (Aus) 69 73, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 70 72, Andrew Putnam (USA) 71 71, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 75 67, Neil Schietekat (Rsa) 70 72, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 73 69, Cameron Smith (Aus) 70 72, Mikumu Horikawa (Jpn) 74 68, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 71 71

143 Lucas Glover (USA) 73 70, Romain Langasque (Fra) 75 68, Chez Reavie (USA) 69 74, Jake McLeod (Aus) 70 73, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 70 73, Kevin Tway (USA) 71 72, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 73, Jordan Spieth (USA) 70 73

144 Scott Hend (Aus) 75 69, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70 74, Joost Luiten (Ned) 70 74, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 72, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 70 74, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 73 71

145 Keegan Bradley (USA) 73 72, Yosuke Asaji (Jpn) 70 75, Tyrrell Hatton 72 73, Danny Willett 68 77, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 73 72

146 Paul Casey 75 71, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 73 73, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 72 74

147 Ian Poulter 73 74, Charles Howell III (USA) 74 73, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 72 75

148 Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 69 79, Tae Hee Lee (Kor) 75 73, Wen-chong Liang (Chn) 74 74

149 Justin Harding (Rsa) 75 74, Zheng kai Bai (Chn) 73 76

150 Tommy Fleetwood 74 76

151 Zecheng Dou (Chn) 71 80, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 76 75, Ashun Wu (Chn) 80 71, Adam Hadwin (Can) 74 77

153 Matt Wallace 69 84

157 Daniel Nisbet (Aus) 77 80

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