Two bogeys see McIlroy slip back to tie for lead in Hong Kong
TWO bogeys in the last three holes saw Rory McIlroy fall back to a tie for the lead with Alvaro Quiros as the second round of the Hong Kong Open drew to a close with the front-runners on seven under.
Starting the day level at the top of the leaderboard alongside Quiros and David Horsey on six-under, McIlroy picked up his first birdie of the day at the third but immediately relinquished the shot at the next.
However, further birdies at the eighth, 10th and 12th saw the 22-year-old move to nine under par before he ran into trouble on the 16th when his drive ended up behind a tree and he was forced to pitch out onto the fairway for an eventual bogey.
A wayward tee shot at the 17th landed in the rough down the left but he recovered for par before another poor tee shot at the last found the trees and he was forced to lay-up before pushing his putt right of the hole to finish with a 69 and level with Quiros.
The Spaniard had earlier also shot a 69 that featured four birdies and three bogeys including a disappointing five at the ninth, his final hole.
"Unfortunately, I didn't play as well as yesterday," said Quiros.
"I managed the round well until the first hole, my 10th. I three-putted there, I three-putted the second and after that, I didn't hole any good putts. Finishing with a bogey at the ninth was a bit frustrating but this is how it is.
"It's a shame of a round because without the these two three-putts, it was a proper number, nine-under would be great.
Panupol Pittayarat is at six under par after the Thai returned a 65 containing an eagle and three birdies.
"I played well. My score came out great and I had a good feeling about it. I was confident with my game today," said Panupol.
"My goal was to make the cut and, well, I'm up here now. I'll stick with my plan and whatever happens, happens." Scot Richie Ramsey is at five under par with three holes of his second round remaining to sit alongside Miguel Angel Jimenez, who carded an even-par 70.
Horsey is part of the group at four under par after signing for a 72 that included two birdies, two bogeys and a costly double-bogey six at the ninth, where he found the water.
"Not as good as yesterday obviously. I played alright, iron play was good but didn't hit many fairways and if you miss the fairways, it's difficult to control your second shot," he said.
"But I scrambled pretty well, didn't putt so well but it's not too bad, it's not going to be far away by the end of the day so hopefully I'll go well at the weekend."
Ian Poulter is one under par after the defending champion produced a 68 containing an eagle, three birdies and three bogeys in a 71 saw Padraig Harrington finish one-over as his hopes of sneaking into the Dubai World Championship receded.
Colin Montogmerie also looks set to be around at the weekend after a 69 should see the Scot make the cut at two over par.
Justin Rose is likely to miss out, however, the Englishman following up yesterday's 74 with a 69 that left him three-over for the tournament.