Golf: Despite four-week break, McIlroy fires himself into contention at Korean Open

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a 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 Friday, Oct 18, 2013. McIlroy fired a second-round, two-under 69 at the K
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a 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 Friday, Oct 18, 2013. McIlroy fired a second-round, two-under 69 at the Korean Open on Friday to sit just two shots off the lead at the halfway mark. -- PHOTO: AFP / ONEASIA / PAUL LAKATOS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - Rory McIlroy fired a second-round, two-under 69 at the Korean Open on Friday to sit just two shots off the lead at the halfway mark.

The world No. 6 is still searching for his first win of a disappointing season and offset seven birdies with five bogeys at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club near Cheonan, south of Seoul, to tie for fifth at the one billion Korean won (S$1.17 million) event.

South Korea's Hong Soon Sang was the clubhouse leader midway through Friday's second round after firing a bogey-free 68 for a five-under total.

McIlroy is back in action following a four-week break and explained what was required to get back into the winner's circle.

"Just to keep playing the way I am, stay patient," he said. "I don't need to go out there and be overly aggressive, but I just want to get myself into a good position for Sunday if possible."