Imperious McIlroy moves two ahead at Valhalla
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LOUISVILLE Kentucky (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy, helped by a spectacular eagle on his ninth hole of the day, soared into a two-shot clubhouse lead in the weather-delayed second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday.
The British Open champion, in pursuit of a third consecutive victory on the PGA Tour, fired a four-under-par 67 on a wet, ultra-long Valhalla layout where play was suspended for 45 minutes earlier in the day due to water-logged conditions.
McIlroy, the pre-tournament favorite heading into the year's final major, holed an uphill 30-foot putt from just off the green to eagle the par-five 18th and also recorded four birdies and two bogeys to post a nine-under total of 133.
He squandered a golden opportunity to add another eagle at the par-five seventh, where he hit a stunning second shot from 243 yards to just eight feet before missing the putt, but signed off with a birdie at the ninth where he drained a 16-footer.
"I played well for the most part," McIlroy told reporters after moving a step closer to winning the fourth major title of his career. "Scored really well. Some key up-and-downs to keep the momentum going in the round.
"I'm very pleased. I'm in a great position going into the weekend in another major championship. Can't ask for much more. I'm confident, and I'm just on a good run.
"You've seen before when I got on good runs like this, I can sort of keep it going for a little while," said the Northern Irishman, who won last month's British Open before clinching the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday in his next start.
McIlroy ended his round two strokes in front of American Ryan Palmer, who birdied his last two holes for a 70 after teeing off in the first group of the day in heavy, driving rain. Continued...