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Magnificent McIlroy back in swing of things and takes share of lead in France

And the world number four has won the last three times he has held or shared the 36-hole lead.

Image: Adam Davy

RORY McILROY PUT his swing issues and disappointing US Open performance to bed with a stellar second round at the 100th Open de France today, which sees him in a tie for the lead heading in to the weekend.

The world number four admitted his swing was a “work in progress” yesterday as he stumbled to an even-par 71 after finding the water on two occasions.

But the Holywood golfer excelled at Paris’s Le Golf National today, carding six birdies and just one bogey, after he once again found the water, to finish with a five-under par 66.

The 27-year-old missed the cut at the US Open in Oakmont two weeks ago but today looked to be back to the form that saw him win the Irish Open in May.

The four-time major winner picked up shots at the third, sixth, seventh, ninth, 13th and 14th and briefly held the lead on his own, only for a mishit on 18 to find the water, which eventually cost him a shot on the last.

The return to form is a timely one for McIlroy with the British Open at Royal Troon just two weeks away.

McIlroy has won the last three times he has held or shared the lead heading into the weekend but as it stands he has plenty of company at the summit with Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, Finland’s Mikko Ilonen, South Africa’s Brandon Stone and South Korea’s Jeung-hun Wang also on five-under totals.

Padraig Harrington had a decent day in the French capital, mixing an eagle and three birdies with four bogeys for a one-under 70 and a one-over total, two shots inside the cut line.

Graeme McDowell (+11), Darren Clarke (+12), Michael Hoey (+12) and Paul Dunne (+13) missed the cut by some distance.

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