McIlroy takes share of lead in Chicago

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Rory McIlroy
McIlroy was three shots off the lead after the first round
-1 R McIlroy (NI), P Cantlay (US); level D Johnson (US), H Matsuyama (Jpn); +1 T Finau (US), A Scott (Aus), B Horschel (US), L Oosthuizen (SA), B Todd (US)
Selected others:+3 T Hatton (Eng); +5 P Casey (Eng), M Fitzpatrick (Eng); +8 T Woods (US)
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Rory McIlroy was one of only two players to finish under par at the BMW Championship on Friday as he took a share of the overall lead.

The Northern Irishman carded a one-under 69 to move alongside American Patrick Cantlay at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage.

McIlroy made five birdies as he aimed to improve on just one top-12 finish since the PGA Tour resumed in June.

“I was able to break par which is awesome,” he said.

“I got myself into a good spot going into the weekend.

“As it got later in the day, the course definitely became a little firmer, a little tougher. The wind got up a little bit.

“I’m a little disappointed to drop those shots on the way in, but I think if you shoot anything under par on this golf course, you’ve got to be pretty pleased.”

America’s Dustin Johnson, who is leading the season-long FedEx Cup standings, birdied his final two holes at Olympia Fields for a 69 to move into a tie for third with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who shot a three-over 73 to reach level-par 140 for the two rounds.

At the end of play, there were 29 players sitting within five shots of the leaders.

Briton Tyrrell Hatton, tied for 13th on three over par, features among those within touching distance of the top spot.

The BMW Championship is the second of three events in the US circuit’s FedEx Cup play-offs that will determine the PGA Tour champion for this season.

The top 70 players in the season’s points rankings are taking part in this week’s event, which will decide the 30 players to compete in next month’s season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

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