McIlroy still a Korea Open contender despite poor start
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a tee-shot during the second round of the Pro-Am golf competition of the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club near Cheonan on October 18, 2013, in a photo provided by One Asia
The two-time major champ compensated for those five hiccups with seven birdies for a two-under 69 at the par-71 Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, where the Northern Irish star is the marquee name at the $1 million OneAsia Tour stop.
He is tied for fifth at three-under for the tournament, two strokes behind the leader Hong Soon-Sang. The South Korean fired a bogey-free round of 68.
Three more South Koreans remained one stroke behind Hong.
McIlroy, coming off a month-long break, is hoping to pick up his first win of 2013, as he kicked off the late-season Asian swing.
Starting the day on the back nine, McIlroy opened with a birdie, but then committed three straight bogeys starting on the par-4 14th.
After making the turn, McIlroy had four birdies against one bogey over his final nine holes.
The world number six said his day was "pretty solid" aside from the bogeys on his first nine.
"I hit some good shots and made some good birdies," he said. "I'm driving the ball very well and for the most part my iron play is pretty good, but I definitely missed a few opportunities out there.
"I'm in a good position going into the weekend and that's all you can ask for," he added.
McIlroy said he was disappointed with the closing bogey but he will try to stay patient the rest of the way.
"I don't need to go out there and be overly aggressive," he said, "but I just want to get myself into a good position for Sunday if possible."
First-round leader Jang Ik-Jae joined McIlroy at three-under after shooting a 72 on Friday.
Hong, meanwhile, followed up a 69 with a 68 for the only bogey-less round of the day.
"I was very pleased to go around without a bogey but I think I had a bit of luck," he said. "Some of the pins were really hard, but I managed to get it close or make up-and-down. The real game starts from tomorrow."
Defending champion Kim Dae-Sub shot a 73 to fall into a six-way tie for 13th.
McIlroy is the only foreign player inside the top 10 heading into the weekend.