McIlroy makes belated inroads

MIAMI • World No. 1 Jason Day was poised to open up a big lead over his rivals at the US PGA Players Championship on Friday before his second-round charge was halted by darkness.

The Australian star, who tamed TPC Sawgrass with a nine-under 63 in the first round, was on course for another low score after sinking five birdies before play was stopped with four holes left to play.

Day headed to the clubhouse on 14-under with his final four second-round holes yet to be completed.

Barring a late collapse, Day should take a healthy advantage into the final rounds over the weekend, with nearest rival Shane Lowry of Ireland three shots back on 11 under after two rounds.

The top performance came from American Colt Knost, who fired a superb nine-under 63 which included 10 birdies. Only a bogey on the final hole - when he missed a four-foot par putt that would have given him a 62 - denied Knost a new course record.

"I was nervous over that last putt," Knost said. "So many great players have played this golf course, and to be the first one and only one to shoot 10-under would have been really cool."

World No. 3 Rory McIlroy fired an eight-under 64, getting off to a blistering start with five birdies and an eagle in his first seven holes.

McIlroy was in the clubhouse on 136 after firing a par 72 in his first round, rising from a share of 83rd to level sixth, eight under for the tournament.

"I played well," McIlroy said. "I'm a little disappointed the way I finished but 64 is still a great score. If I can get it out under par the next two days, I'll be happy. Conditions will be trickier. I don't think you'll see scores as low."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 15, 2016, with the headline 'McIlroy makes belated inroads'. Print Edition | Subscribe