McIlroy scrambles to stay in the PGA Championship mix

·2-min read

Rory McIlroy admits he is tempted to throw caution to the wind after surprisingly finding himself in contention for a third US PGA title at Oak Hill Country Club.

Despite continuing to struggle off the tee, McIlroy carded a second-round under-under-par 69 for a halfway total of level par to lie just five off the lead shared by Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland.

First-round leader Bryson DeChambeau and fellow American Justin Suh were two shots off the lead, with England's Callum Tarren - who only secured a place in the field on Friday after former champion Martin Kaymer withdrew - another stroke back after a superb 67.

Masters runner-up Brooks Koepka was alongside Tarren on two under thanks to a 66 that included four birdies in the last seven holes.

Justin Rose hit just two fairways but somehow conjured up a 70 to lie one under, with McIlroy and former Open champion Shane Lowry on level par.

McIlroy was among the later starters who took advantage of unexpectedly calm conditions and a course softened by several rain showers to cover his last 10 holes in three under par.

"I need to be patient the way I'm hitting it off the tee," McIlroy said. "I stayed really patient and I think it was rewarded with a couple of breaks and birdies towards the end.

"I think with how terribly I've felt over the ball, the fact I am only five back.

"I'm not saying it could be up there with one of my best performances but when I holed that (birdie) putt on the last I thought I can't believe I'm only five back.

"If I can get the ball in play off the tee I'll have a shot and at this point I might just tee it high and bomb it everywhere. I may as well just swing it hard and go for it."