Shanghai — Already with three victories and a career-best 17 finishes in the top 10, Rory McIlroy has put himself in position to add to those totals going into the weekend at the HSBC Champions.
He made a mess of the 16th hole Friday and escaped with bogey after hitting three tee shots (only two of them counted). He bounced back with a 5-iron to 3 feet for eagle on the final hole for a 5-under 67, leaving him one shot behind Matt Fitzpatrick.
McIlroy is happy with what he has done this year. But as he stood beneath the clubhouse at Sheshan International, he shared another number that makes him proud.
“I have top 10s in 50% of my PGA Tour starts,” McIlroy said. “To me, that’s a nice stat to know that most times you tee it up, you maybe not contend, but you’re putting yourself there.”
He was rounding off figures, but it’s no less impressive.
McIlroy, who is wrapping up his 12th full year as a pro, has finished in the top 10 in 49% of his PGA Tour starts. Tiger Woods is at 55%, while Phil Mickelson is at 32%.
Dustin Johnson, who turned pro about the same time as McIlroy and already has 20 titles on the PGA Tour, is at 37%.
McIlroy looked up his record because it’s what drives him. Winning, sure, but that starts with chances. He has another one in Shanghai.
Fitzpatrick played bogey-free in the second round for a 67 that put him at 11-under 133. He figured to drop a shot on the 16th after a bad drive and a good idea that went bad.
He hooked his tee shot toward the trees and did well to get the ball to the back of the green, facing a tough lie with the ball nestled in deep rough. Fitzpatrick thought about chipping a 7-wood, blading a wedge or stabbing at it with his putter.
He went with the third option.
“The putter went past the ball, and the ball was still in the air – very weird,” Fitzpatrick said.
Defending champion Xander Schauffele, still struggling with remnants of the flu, rallied for a 69 and was two shots behind, along with Adam Scott (69) and Sungjae Im (69).
Brendon Todd birdied his last four holes Friday for an 8-under 63 and a share of the lead with Harry Higgs and Scottie Scheffler after the second round of the PGA Tour’s inaugural Bermuda Championship in Southampton.
Higgs shot a 65, closing with a birdie on the par-4 18th. Scheffler, the first-round leader, had a 69. They were at 11-under 131.
Mi Jung Hur shot a second consecutive 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after Friday’s second round of the LPGA Swinging Skirts in Taipei, Taiwan.
Defending champion Nelly Korda (67) was one shot back while trying to win her second LPGA title of the season.