Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
World Number Two Rory McIlroy stormed into contention at the Valero Texas Open with a second round 67.
In a timely return to form ahead of next week’s Masters Tournament, the Northern Irishman - a late entrant to this event - birdied 16, 17 and 18 to card 67, the joint lowest score of the day.
That lifted him to five under, one behind the second placed trio of Charley Hoffman, Daniel Summerhays and Steven Bowditch, and three adrift of halfway leader Billy Horschel, who also finished strongly with back to back birdies.
McIlroy said: “I'm feeling comfortable with my game. I definitely feel like I made the right decision to come here, and even if I hadn’t been in this position and had been a few shots back I’d still feel the same way.”
“I haven’t really been in contention this year. So it will be nice to get into the mix.
“I want to play well and know if I play well I’ll have a great chance to win.”
Padraig Harrington, one shot off the lead on day one at four under, slipped back courtesy of a 73, although that score represented something of a recovery after he dropped three shots in his first eight holes.