Rory McIlroy clicks into gear at Bay Hill

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy carded a second round six under 66 to move into the top 10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Friday.

The world number one still trails round one leader, American Morgan Hoffmann, who fired nine birdies and two bogeys to add a 65 to his opening 66 and set the clubhouse target on 13 under par.

McIlroy had not broken 70 on the PGA Tour in 2015 before today and needed to save par from greenside bunkers three times to cover the back nine in 34 after birdies on the 10th and 16th.

However, the four-time major winner clicked into top gear after the turn, holing from 18 feet on the second, six feet on the third and seven feet on the fourth before a superb approach to the fifth left him just inches from the hole.

The 25-year-old then got up and down from another bunker on the par-five sixth for his fifth straight birdie and the streak only came to an end when he narrowly missed from 35 feet on the next.

McIlroy’s only bogey of the day came after a miscued drive led to him finding yet more sand on the eighth, but the Open champion will have been happy with his progress in his last competitive outing before attempting to become the sixth player to complete the career grand slam by winning the Masters next month.

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington carded a one under par 71 and is five under for the tournament.