McIlroy back in business

World No 1 Rory McIlroy stormed back into contention at the Barclays on Friday with a six-under-par 65.

Having disappointed in the first round with a 74 – his worst round in more than a month – McIlroy righted the ship in style with a bogey-free, six-birdie round that moved him back to three under par, just five shots behind leaders Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale at Ridgewood CC in New Jersey.

McIlroy took to the driving range on Thursday night to iron out the kinks after his first-round showing, and it paid immediate dividends.

He hit nine fairways and 15 greens in regulation. He also needed just 28 putts.

“First tee,” McIlroy said when asked when he knew he’d play well. “The work that I did (Thursday) on the range really helped and it just sort of got me back into the rhythm and into the flow of things.

“I knew that my game was there and I just needed to take advantage of the chances I was giving myself. … I was asked yesterday after I played, if you’re going to battle to make the cut. I said missing the cut isn’t an option.”

McIlroy now has a chance of picking up a fourth consecutive victory after wins at the Open Championship, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship – though he knows he won’t be able to take his foot off the pedal over the weekend to have any chance of catching the likes of Scott at the top.

“There’s a lot of players between me and the leaders,” McIlroy said. “So I’m going to have to shoot a couple of rounds similar to today to maybe win this thing.”