Rory McIlroy shoots second-round 70 to stay within striking distance

textRory McIlroy shot a 70 over his second round at the US Open on Friday. (USATSI)

Rory McIlroy remained in good position heading into weekend play after his Friday second-round score of 70 at the 113th US Open at Merion.

After finishing up a mediocre opening-round 73 on Friday morning, McIlroy recovered with four birdies and four bogeys over his second round to put him at plus three for the tournament.

The 2011 champion's score puts him well within striking distance of Open leader Phil Mickelson (first round of 67), who teed off shortly after the trio of Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and McIlroy completed their second round on Friday midafternoon.

“My game was solid enough and I’m still right there for the weekend,” he said after finishing up on Friday.

McIlroy began his second round much better than he finished his opening round, which saw him sputter with several bogeys.

“I birdied my first two holes (Nos. 11 and 12) and then got through that tough stretch between the 14th and 18th holes in just one over,” he added.

"Every time I made a birdie, I seemed to make a bogey then straight away - it's difficult out there and the course tests every aspect of your game," he said. "You've got to be very tactical, have a good gameplan and be strong mentally."   

Earlier in the week there was talk of potentially low scores, but few managed to shoot under par throughout the first two days of the tournament.  

McIlroy had a chance to close out his round with a reasonable birdie putt, but he ran his shot too far past the cup and settled for even par. 

After Thursday’s first round was delayed by darkness, McIlroy opened Friday morning with 26 holes to play and a substantial six-stroke deficit to overcome.

The top 60 finishers and ties will make it to weekend play, and McIlroy's solid effort on Friday could see him within the top-15 heading into the weekend. 

For more, follow Mike Singer on Twitter @RealMikeSinger. 

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