McIlroy, Fowler and Yang among five leaders after 36 holes in Korea Open

rory mcilroy
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Rory McIlroy's up-and-down second-round contained five birdies and three bogeys.
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PA Sport and Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot a a 2-under 69 Friday to take a share of the lead after the second round at the Kolon Korea Open on the OneAsia Tour.

McIlroy, who finished third in the event two years ago, is tied with four others at 137 overall. Defending champion Y.E. Yang (70), Rickie Fowler (70), Bronson La’Cassie (67) and Mo Joong-kyung (66) are also at 137 at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.

KOLON KOREA OPEN

2009 PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang won the 2010 Korea Open by overcoming a 10-shot deficit in the final round.

McIlroy had two birdies on the front nine, and then added two more on the 12th and 14th holes. But bogeys on Nos. 13, 15 and 16 took him back to 1 under for the day until a birdie on 18.

"It was a good round. I felt it could have been lower, but I played solid golf and holed some nice putts," said McIlroy. "It's a good start to the tournament and I have put myself in a good position going into the weekend."

World No. 36 Fowler fell short of following up his opening-round 67, but is firmly in the hunt to claim a first career title after making his Ryder Cup debut last year.

"I got it around and I am in a good position for the weekend, so that's a positive," said the 22-year-old. "I didn't hit it as well as the first round and I struggled with the speed of my putting over the last few holes, so I have some improving to do. But I am still in a good position for the weekend.

"It is a tough golf course and there are a lot of good players at the top of the leaderboard," he added. "I think the key for the weekend is driving the ball well, and if I do that, I think everything else will fall into place."

World No. 43 Yang again matched Fowler's score with three birdies to remain in the hunt for a third Korea Open title after overcoming a 10-shot final-round deficit last year.

"In the morning it was very cold, so on the front nine I did not play well and I was not able to record a lot of birdies," said the 39-year-old Yang. "But on the back nine I felt better, although I regret not being able to score better."