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Wednesday 22 August 2018

Rory tees up cup weekend

Rory McIlroy produced a brilliant finish to his second round to boost his chances of an extremely lucrative victory in the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

The world number one (pictured, right) birdied the 17th and 18th to complete a superb 65 at East Lake - the lowest score of the week so far - and set the clubhouse target on six under par.

"To finish like that with two birdies puts me in a great position going into the weekend," McIlroy said.

Along with Chris Kirk, Billy Horschel, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan, Mcllroy knows victory tomorrow would also secure the overall FedEx Cup title - and with it a bonus of £6million.

McIlroy insists the title means more to him than the money, the 25-year-old keen to end a brilliant season on a high note after four victories, including two major titles in the Open and US PGA Championship.

The four-time major winner holed from 11 feet for his first birdie of the day on the second but bogeyed the fourth for the second day in succession after his drive plugged in the face of a fairway bunker.

Frustrated

McIlroy had been frustrated by taking one step forward and one step back on Thursday, but this time took two steps forward with birdies from close range on the sixth and seventh, although another birdie chance did go begging on the par-five ninth.

The 25-year-old never threatened to hole birdie putts on the 10th or 11th, but very nearly holed his approach to the 12th, his ball clattering into the pin.

Fortunately for the Ulsterman it finished just eight feet away and he holed the putt, before his round took a bizarre turn on the 14th, where his wayward drive clipped a tree and somehow dropped straight into a spectator's shorts pocket.

"I got really lucky," McIlroy said.

"It ricocheted off a tree and went straight into his pocket somehow.

"That ball could have went anywhere and luckily I was able to take a drop and hit it on the green and make par.

"The guy probably deserved more than just the handshake that I gave him."

For the second day running McIlroy birdied the 17th and then put the icing on the cake by holing from 25 feet on the last.

Horschel and Australian Jason Day were leading on the course, the pair both seven under with three holes remaining.

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