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Rory McIlroy soars into contention at Charles Schwab Challenge

Rory McIlroy soars into contention at Charles Schwab Challenge
© Reuters
Harold Varner III overcame an opening triple bogey to remain top of the leaderboard.

World number one Rory McIlroy shot a 63 on the second day of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas to put himself in contention for golf’s first tournament back following the coronavirus suspension.

The Northern Irishman started the second day on two under par and hit an eagle on the 10th hole before finishing on nine under in Fort Worth.

But it is Harold Varner III, who holds the lead at the halfway stage by one shot.

The American, who shared the first round lead with Justin Rose after a 63, started his second round with a triple-bogey after his tee shot landed on a bridge, but recovered to post a 66.

Jordan Spieth was a shot off Varner at the halfway stage despite four-putting the 12th hole. He also bogeyed the 13th but followed it up with two birdies.

Texan Spieth said on the PGA Tour website: “I felt that I gave myself some grace to say, look, I haven’t really been practising a ton of those kind of short-range putts.

“Those are ones where you just have a ton of them when you’re playing in competition but you’re picking them up a lot of times when you’re playing regular rounds of golf at home.”

Rose was sitting on seven under, four shots off the clubhouse lead, halfway through his second round but bogeyed the 10th and 11th and posted a 69 to sit tied for seventh.

Jhonattan Vegas took a tumble down the leaderboard, the Venezuelan dropping shots on five holes to tumble from joint second to tied for 47th.

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