Golf: Rory McIlroy has putting meltdown as Dustin Johnson takes Pebble Beach lead

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the fifth tee during Round Two of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Feb 9, 2018.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the fifth tee during Round Two of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on Feb 9, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Rory McIlroy four-putted from six feet while Dustin Johnson avoided any similar mishaps to move into the halfway lead at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California on Friday (Feb 9).

Johnson birdied his first three holes to set a strong base for a seven-under 64 second round on the Monterey Peninsula course, one of three used for the event.

Fellow American Beau Hossler, a PGA Tour rookie, had a bogey-free 67 at Spyglass Hill, joining Johnson at 12-under, though Johnson has a lower total, 131 against Hossler's 132.

Monterey Peninsula is a par-71, while Spyglass and the host Pebble Beach courses are par-72 layouts.

McIlroy, meanwhile, has some work ahead to make the 54-hole cut after a 74 at Monterey that included a staggering double-bogey at the par-four fifth.

After almost driving the green, the Northern Irishman used his putter from the fringe and stroked the ball to within six feet of the cup, from where he took four putts and probably ended his hopes in the tournament in a matter of seconds.

He is at one-under heading to his third round at Pebble.