McIlroy produces strong finish to stay in sight of DeChambeau

Three birdies in the last five holes saw world number one sign for a two-under-par 69

Rory McIlroy keeps a close eye on  a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the WGC Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Photograph: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy keeps a close eye on a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the WGC Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City. Photograph: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

 

Rory McIlroy produced a strong finish to his second round at the WGC-Mexico Championship but still lost ground at Chapultepec Golf Club.

The world number one held a two-shot overnight lead but, with low scoring the order of the day, the Northern Irishman found himself one over par 13 holes into his round.

Three birdies in the last five holes saw McIlroy sign for a two-under-par 69, with his eight under total three shots behind American leader Bryson DeChambeau.

Having kicked off his round with eight consecutive pars, McIlroy bogeyed the ninth but holed from 21 feet at the 12th to get the shot back.

A three-putt from 10 feet at the 13th cost him another dropped shot but the four-time Major winner produced a superb approach at the 14th before holing from 16 feet at the 16th and 24 feet at the 17th to keep himself in contention.

“There’s a long way to go,” McIlroy said. “I just stayed patient and try to bide my time and made a couple of nice putts coming in, and I guess my patience was rewarded a little bit.”

DeChambeau made six gains in seven holes from the first – his 10th – en route to an eight-under 63 and 11 under halfway total.

That was one ahead of compatriot Patrick Reed (63) and South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen, who equalled the course record with a flawless 62 on his 30th birthday.

“It was a lot of fun,” DeChambeau said after coming home in 29. “Making those putts the way I did, striking the ball the way I did, it’s surely a joy out there.

“The confidence has got to be high. It is high and it’s a lot of fun to see putts finally going in. Overall everything is going pretty well, firing on all cylinders.”

World number four Justin Thomas and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama share fourth on nine under after rounds of 66 and 64 respectively.

Shane Lowry matched McIlroy’s 69 to get back under par for the tournament, while Graeme McDowell added a 74 to his opening 76 to fall back to eight over in the no-cut event.

LEADERBOARD
USA unless stated, par 71

131 Bryson DeChambeau 68 63

132 Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 62, Patrick Reed 69 63

133 Justin Thomas 67 66, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 69 64

134 Rory McIlroy (N Irl) 65 69

137 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 69 68, Paul Casey (Eng) 69 68, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 71 66

138 Corey Conners (Can) 68 70

139 Gary Woodland 70 69, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 68 71, Bubba Watson 67 72, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 71 68, Kevin Na 71 68, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 69, Billy Horschel 68 71, Lee Westwood (Eng) 69 70

140 Zach Murray (Aus) 71 69, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 70 70, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 72 68

141 Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 69, Jon Rahm (Esp) 72 69, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 73 68, Danny Willett (Eng) 73 68, Lanto Griffin 72 69 Sungjae Im (Kor) 69 72

142 Justin Harding (Rsa) 71 71, Adam Scott (Aus) 74 68, Branden Grace (Rsa) 71 71, Matt Kuchar 75 67, Collin Morikawa 72 70, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 71 71, Kevin Kisner 73 69, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 72 70

143 Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 75 68, Jason Kokrak 73 70, Scottie Scheffler 73 70, Brendon Todd 72 71, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 75 68, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 73 70

144 Xander Schauffele 72 72, Shugo Imahira (Jpn) 74 70, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 75 69, Marc Leishman (Aus) 74 70, Lucas Glover 71 73, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 72 72, Robert Macintyre (Sco) 76 68, Chez Reavie 71 73

145 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 75 70, Brandt Snedeker 76 69, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 71 74, Webb Simpson 72 73

146 Kurt Kitayama 76 70, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 72 74, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 73 73, Cameron Smith (Aus) 73 73, Sergio Garcia (Esp) 74 72, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 76

147 Dustin Johnson 76 71, Scott Hend (Aus) 72 75, Jordan Spieth 74 73

149 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 75 74, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 76 73, Charles Howell III 75 74

150 Graeme McDowell (N Irl) 76 74

151 Matt Wallace (Eng) 74 77, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 77 74, Victor Perez (Fra) 81 70

152 Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 80 72, Sung Kang (Kor) 76 76

153 Tae Hee Lee (Kor) 80 73

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