Prayad Marksaeng and Jeev Milkha Singh continued to set the pace and Rory McIlroy stormed into contention at Doral as the competition began to heat up in the second round of the World Golf Championships - CA Championship.
The 19 year old from Northern Ireland, who won his maiden professional tournament in January at the Dubai Desert Classic, was within three shots off the lead after sinking five birdies in his opening 13 holes around the par 72, 7,266 yard Blue Monster course.
Thailand’s Marksaeng, Phil Mickelson of the United States and India’s Singh shared the lead at 11 under par having started the day as co-overnight leaders on seven under with South African Retief Goosen.
Marksaeng had jumped into an early outright lead when he eagled the par five, 528 yard first hole to move to nine under following his opening round 65.
The Thai added birdies at the fifth and sixth holes before hitting a bumpy patch with a run of bogey, birdie, bogey, par, birdie, bogey that left him at ten under par before another birdie brought him into a share of the lead.
World Number Three Mickelson had finished in style for his 65 on Thursday, chipping in for birdies at the both the 17th and 18th holes to complete a back nine of six birdies and no bogeys.
It led the American left-hander, a three time major champion, to state he was playing as well as he ever had, and he started in suitably confident mood with a birdie at the tenth to move to eight under.
He overcame a bogey six at his third hole but bounced back with consecutive birdies on his fifth and sixth holes and two more at the eighth and 11th meant after 13 holes he was 11 under.
India’s Singh joined him there with a birdie at the tenth and was still a co-leader after 11 holes.
Kenny Perry was off to the best start of the day, seven under for his round and nine under for the tournament after 14 holes while McIlroy continued to belie his inexperience in just his third tournament as a professional in the United States.
Four birdies in his opening nine holes from the tenth tee and another at the 13th took him to nine under before a dropped shot at his 14th sent him back to eight under.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington had been in a tie for fifth place overnight after an opening 66 and he opened with an eagle at his first hole.
The reigning The Open Championship and US PGA Championship winner added birdies at the par five 12th and par four 14th, his third and fifth holes of the day for a share of the lead with Marksaeng before his round began to unravel.
The Dubliner recorded bogeys at his sixth, seventh before a double bogey at the third, his 12th hole of the day, sent him back to six under, where he stayed after 16 holes.
Going strongly on seven under after 13 holes was England’s Ian Poulter, thanks to four birdies in his opening ten holes but World Number One Tiger Woods was still finding the going hard in his first stroke play tournament in nine months following reconstructive knee surgery.
Woods had said he would have to be “a little bit sharper” having opened with a one under 71 and he opened with birdies at the first and fourth before bogeying the par four sixth and the par five tenth, where he three putted to drop back to one under par.