Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood lead the Players Championship at Sawgrass after they both finished on 12 under on Friday.
McIlroy was inspired as he shot a seven under par 65 to bring himself even with Fleetwood who hit a 67. The Holywood player levelled with the English player after picking-up a fantastic birdie at the 17th hole.
McIlroy and Fleetwood lead Ian Poulter, Jim Furyk, Brian Harman and Abraham Ancer who are all on nine under par.
The pair will also go out in the last group on Saturday, trying to stay on track to end the United Kingdom’s 32-year barren run in this tournament
McIlroy bogeyed the first, but picked up five birdies in the next 14 holes. On the par-five 16th, he hit a wonderful second shot from 223 yards to nine feet.
He converted the eagle putt and then on the 17th, he holed from 22 feet for a birdie and his game looked to be on the money.
That old Rory swagger as he walked off the 18th said it all.
Of course, we have seen this so many times in the last 2 1/2 years in which he has, bizarrely, only won once.
McIlroy has enjoyed chance after chance, but has fallen short on Sunday after Sunday. But after these two near flawless rounds his confidence will be high. Indeed, on the last nine occasions he has played in the final group on the final day he has failed to turn his imposing presence into silverware but he will be looking to change that this weekend.