Atlanta – Former world No 1 Rory McIlroy is making a bid to close out his season in style by winning the 2018 Tour Championship.
The 29-year-old from Northern Ireland is lurking just back of co-leaders Tiger Woods and Justin Rose after firing 68 for a five-under 135 total on Friday.
He is alone in third and just two shots back of the leaders at the halfway stage of the season-ending tournament.
McIlroy birdied two of his first three holes but then lost a shot with a bogey on the par-four number four. His two birdies on the back nine were offset by a pair of bogeys en route to a two-under 68.
“I was not quite as good off the tee today as I was yesterday, but I still gave myself plenty of chances,” he said.
“If I’m disappointed about anything, it’s probably the two pars on the par-fives.
“I had a six-iron and a four-iron into them, and I made two fives. If I can make two fours there, I’m all of a sudden seven-under instead of five-under and probably in the last group.”
It has been a strange year for McIlroy. He has a win, three second place finishes and five other top 10s which would be a respectable season for most PGA pros.
But McIlroy feels this could finally be the weekend where everything in his game finally comes together.
“There’s still 36 holes to play. I like this golf course,” he said. “This is my fourth or fifth time at the Tour Championship, and I’ve played it pretty well every time I’ve come here.
“The course suits me. It suits the ball striker. I feel like my game has continuously gotten a little bit better over the last few weeks.”