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McIlroy sits four shots off the lead heading into the weekend at Torrey Pines

Norway’s Viktor Hovland fired an impressive seven-under 65 and take a one-shot lead after the second round.

Rory McIlroy in action at Torrey Pines.
Rory McIlroy in action at Torrey Pines.
Image: Gregory Bull

Updated Jan 30th 2021, 9:27 AM

RORY MCILROY IS four shots off the lead heading into the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines.

McIlroy hit four birdies and three bogeys on the way to carding a one-under 71 to leave him on five-under which keeps him in contention with the current leaders.

Norway’s Viktor Hovland defied the wild weather to fire an impressive seven-under 65 on the South Course and take a one-shot lead after the second round.
On a day that saw spurts of hail and wind gusts that drove the rain sideways on the scenic course overlooking the Pacific Ocean north of San Diego, California, Hovland fired eight birdies on the way to a nine-under total of 135.

He burst from a pack at eight-under with a seven-foot birdie at his final hole, the par-five ninth, after returning from a late weather delay of 49 minutes forced when the last squall of the day blew across the course.

Hovland’s round was four strokes better than any other produced Friday on the South Course, which will host the US Open in June.

The North Course was no picnic in the conditions, although world number two Jon Rahm of Spain said he was glad he was on the easier track on Friday where he posted a five-under 67 to join a group of six players sharing second place on eight-under 136.

Rahm was tied with Australian Adam Scott and Americans Tony Finau, Lanto Griffin, Ryan Palmer and Patrick Reed. Scott, Griffin and Reed all played the South Course, where Scott and Griffin both briefly led at nine-under before falling back.

Scott had the solo lead after a 21-foot eagle putt at his 15th hole — the sixth — but he bogeyed the next two before finishing with a birdie in his three-under 69.

Griffin also eagled the sixth, but gave a stroke back with a three-putt bogey at the eighth — his penultimate hole — shortly before the late storm halted play. He returned to par his final hole to cap a 69.

Overnight co-leader Reed carded an even-par 72 while on the North Course Finau matched Rahm’s 67 and Palmer posted a 70.

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After starting his round on the par-5 10th, McIlroy picked up three birdies between the 10th and 12th holes.

Another birdie on the 17th but his round suffered a setback with bogeys on the 14th, 15th and 18th holes before turning onto the front nine where he made eight straight pars to finish his second round.

Ireland’s Seamus Power was also in action at Torrey Pines but he failed to make the cut after a carding a three-over 75 to leave him on nine-over overall.

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- Additional reporting by AFP

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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