McIlroy puts himself in contention

Rory McIlroyRory McIlroy claims to be playing without any pressure upon him after carding a second round 65 to move into contention at the Tour Championship (McIlroy 6/4 Tour Championship outright).

The World No 1 is looking to round off arguably the best season of his career by clinching the Tour Championship, which will in turn secure him the FedEx Cup and a $10million bonus.

The 25-year-old says the huge jackpot does not serve as a motivation to him and is just keen to keep winning as he looks to carry his momentum into the Ryder Cup later this month.

McIlroy made an inauspicious start at the East Lake Golf Club on Thursday but followed up with the best round of the day on Friday, shooting a five-under 65 to move into a share of second, two shots behind leader Billy Horschel.

The Northern Irishman ended his round with back-to-back birdies to join Jason Day and Chris Kirk on six-under for the tournament.

The four-time major winner says he was happy to finish his round strongly and is confident of staying relaxed as the PGA Tour reaches a nail-biting conclusion.

“To finish like that with two birdies puts me in a great position going into the weekend,” said McIlroy.

“Before coming into these FedEx Cup play-offs … it was going to be a great season, anyway,” he said. “I wanted to cap it off in style, and I’ve given myself a chance to do that over the next two days. I’m going into this week with nothing to lose. I’m the one that’s got the two majors this year. I’m the one that’s had the great season. Those are the guys that are trying to cap off a great season for themselves.

“No matter what happens over the weekend, it’s going to be OK. But I still want to win this thing.”

Horschel still leads the field on eight-under after a second consecutive 66 and is the form player in the field having now shot ten successive rounds in the 60s.

Last week’s BMW Championship winner is 14/5 to make it back-to-back wins, which would also secure the American the FedEx Cup.

Kirk, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson can also win the end of season title with a victory at the Tour Championship, although the latter two look to be out of the running.

Mahan is 14 shots off the pace after two rounds, while Masters champion Watson is eight behind Horschel heading into the weekend.

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