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Rory McIlroy in contention after a 65
September 9, 2011

World number four Rory McIlroy sacrificed a proper lunch on Friday to sharpen up his swing and it paid off when he climbed into contention at the Dutch Open.

A five-under-par 65 for a five-under total of 135 took him within two strokes of the second-round clubhouse lead held by India’s Shiv Kapur (67).

Briton Stephen Dodd and Germany’s Marcel Siem are a shot better than Kapur with five and seven holes respectively still to play when the unfinished round is completed on Saturday morning.

McIlroy said he had not been at his best after finishing off a first-round 70 on Friday morning. The effort was badly disrupted a day earlier by inclement weather and vandalised greens.

That left him trailing five strokes off the lead and even though he only had 40 minutes before returning to the course, the 22-year-old Northern Irishman made for the practice range to do some swing tinkering.

“It was worth not having a proper lunch,” U.S. Open champion McIlroy told reporters.

“I just gave myself 10 minutes for a quick bite and went out on the range. I’m trying to get my ball flight more neutral and it seemed to work.”

While he played better, McIlroy did ride his luck. He survived a shot close to out of bounds on the sixth, his 16th hole, and was given relief at the ninth when his ball landed on a termite mound close to trees.

“I was really lucky because I then had a clear shot to the green,” McIlroy said. “But I still feel as though I’ve got ants in my pants.”

World number two Lee Westwood looked as though he would be alongside McIlroy but a three-putt on his penultimate hole for a 66 left him three behind Kapur.

Westwood was close to breaking point after he and playing partner Robert-Jan Derksen lost the third member of their group, Swede Peter Hanson, who retired with a stomach upset.

“Having to wait on every hole as a two-ball was the hardest thing of the day,” Westwood said. “I was getting so frustrated I would have chewed my ball in half or broken a few clubs if it had gone on any further.”

Kapur, lying 113th on Europe’s Race to Dubai money list, lifted his moderate season by notching a 67 for a seven-under aggregate of 133, one stroke better than Briton Gary Orr (66) and South African James Kingston (68).

World number three Martin Kaymer was unable to begin a salvage operation from his opening 74 and two devastating back-to-back double-bogey sixes looked to have ended his chances of making the cut.

The German, six-over-par with seven holes to play, will resume his round in the morning, six shots worse than the projected cut.

Scores

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