NI's McIlroy chasing Shanghai leader

Published Friday, 26 October 2012
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Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is chasing new BMW Masters leader Peter Hanson, after his second round in Shanghai left him just two shots off the overall pace.

NI's McIlroy chasing Shanghai leader
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is faring well in Shanghai. (© Getty)

McIlroy carded a seven-under-par 65 on Friday, after a 67 at Lake Malaren the previous day.

Following the opening round, he and compatriot Michael Hoey had been tied - alongside Europe's Ryder Cup captain José María Olazábal - five shots off the early lead set by Jamie Donaldson.

But while McIlroy was closing the gap at the top of the table, Hoey's two-under-par 70 means he falls four places to sit joint eighth along with a number of other competitors.

Of his efforts on Friday, McIlroy said: "I played very well and gave myself a lot of opportunities.

"I saw Peter (Hanson) was going well and wanted to stay in touch. When I needed to get up and down, I was able to make those and then got on a nice little run."

Rory's going to be tough to beat, but hopefully I can give him a match.

Peter Hanson

Graeme McDowell's second round 71 leaves him straggling, while Darren Clarke's disappointing four-over-par 76 leaves him well down the field.

Welshman Donaldson will also be frustrated, having let his lead slip with a second round 74 which leaves him six shots behind Hanson.

For Hanson though, finding himself out on front, is a welcome boost.

Despite being the only European to draw a blank at the Ryder Cup, he's now being chased by all his teammates - bar the absent Sergio Garcia.

And he's especially hoping to keep the world number one at bay.

"Playing with the world number one is always fun - it used to be Tiger, now it's Rory," Hanson said.

"I like to test myself and there's no better way than head-to-head. It's a good way to test your mental abilities and if you can play well, it makes it so much nicer."

© UTV News
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