Rory McIlroy put himself firmly in the mix for the weekend at the Olympic golf tournament with a sparkling second round of 66 at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, as American Xander Schauffele took a one shot lead on 11-under-par after another weather-affected day.
Not all golfers were able to finish their round, and will need to conclude theirs early on day three - including Team GB's Paul Casey, who moved up to 7-under, four shots behind the leader.
As has been the case for much of the season, McIlroy cut a frustrated figure on and around the greens during round one - but by the end of Friday he had also climbed to 7-under.
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Representing Ireland, he started the second day six behind the leader, but found form with the flat stick on Friday.
His round caught fire midway through the front nine as a run of birdie, birdie, eagle catapulted him up the leaderboard.
A disappointing bogey on 11 threatened to derail the Irishman, but he bounced back on 12.
For the second day in a row, there was a weather delay on account of electrical activity in the area. Upon the initial resumption, McIlroy birdied 14 and rolled in an excellent long putt on 17 for another birdie.
A poor tee shot left him out of position on the brutally difficult 18th, and he was unable to salvage par which left him on 7-under at the halfway mark. The Irish have a second string to their bow, as 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry carded a 65 to move level with McIlroy on seven-under.
Sweden’s Alex Noren was another player to make a notable move, as a second successive 67 moved him to 8-under.
Mito Pereira of Chile is in the mix for the weekend after signing for a 65 to move to eight-under, while Team GB's Tommy Fleetwood improved one shot from the previous day to move to three-under going into the weekend.
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