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McIlroy shoots 69, two back at Korea Open

Rory McIlroy at the 2013 Masters
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Despite a slow start to his round Friday, Rory McIlroy rallied to card a 2-under 69 at the OneAsia Tour's Kolon Korea Open and will begin the third round just two shots off the pace.

Beginning his round on the back nine, McIlroy carded four bogeys across a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-17 to fall well off the pace. The Ulsterman turned it around, however, notching five birdies across the next nine holes at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club to play his way back into contention.

Even with a closing bogey – his fifth of the day – McIlroy heads into the weekend tied for fifth in his first competitive start since last month's BMW Championship. At 3 under, he trails 36-hole leader Hong Soon-sang by two shots, while three of Hong's fellow countrymen sit in a tie for second at 4-under 138.

'I'm driving the ball very well and for the most part my iron play is pretty good, but I definitely missed a few opportunities out there,' explained McIlroy, who recorded seven total birdies during his second round. 'I definitely could have been a few shots better, but I'm in a good position going into the weekend and that's all you can ask for.'

This week's event in Cheonan, South Korea serves as a warm-up for McIlroy before the current world No. 6 heads to China for several events, including stops at the European Tour's BMW Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions in addition to an exhibition match with world No. 1 Tiger Woods.