Rory McIlroy shares early clubhouse lead on day two at the Masters

Rory McIlroy dug deep to stay firmly in contention for his first Masters title as he fired a one-under 71 on a second day of tough scoring at Augusta.

McIlroy had only one blemish on his card in his opening 69, but he began his second round by three-putting the first green before atoning immediately with a perfect putt from 30 feet at the second.

The 28-year-old pitched to three feet to set up another gain at the third, but his erratic start continued when he went long at the fourth and could not get up-and-down, and he blotted his card again at the short sixth to drop back to two under.

McIlroy, once again bidding to complete a career Grand Slam of majors this week, missed chances around the turn to improve his position, but he followed a steady run of five pars with a good birdie at the 13th, and he converted a nice approach at the 14th.

His long game was in good order over the last three holes, but further chances to claim the outright lead went begging as he settled for a 71 which was enough to earn a share of the early clubhouse lead with overnight leader Jordan Spieth on four under par.

More to follow …

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