Rory McIlroy vows aggressive approach as he looks to rein in leaders at Oak Hill
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Despite continuing to struggle off the tee, McIlroy carded a second round of 69 for a halfway total of level par to lie just five off the lead shared by Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland.
First round leader Bryson DeChambeau and fellow American Justin Suh were two shots off the lead, with England’s Callum Tarren – who only secured a place in the field on Friday – another stroke back after a superb 67.
Masters runner-up Brooks Koepka was alongside Tarren on two under thanks to a 66 which included four birdies in the last seven holes.
Justin Rose hit just two fairways but somehow conjured up a second round of 70 to lie one under, with McIlroy and former Open champion Shane Lowry on level par.
“I think with how terribly I’ve felt over the ball, the fact I am only five back… I’m not saying it could be up there with one of my best performances but when I holed that (birdie) putt on the last I thought I can’t believe I’m only five back.
“If I can get the ball in play off the tee I’ll have a shot and at this point I might just tee it high and bomb it everywhere. I may as well just swing it hard and go for it.”