Overnight Leader Lucas Herbert opened a two-stroke lead in the semi-finals of the Irish Open and on Friday in the second round 67 was selected to sink on the Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown 13.
After charting an 8-under-64 series on Thursday to set the clubhouse goal, the Australian was three behind in the second round when he found the water on the third hole for a double bow.
“It was a little frustrating, but I also felt like I did pretty well to get 67 out of it,” Herbert said. ‘I stabbed some nice holes and then missed some where I probably thought it was a good chance to make.
‘The double [bogey] at three did not help so well, so for a round that is hopefully not one of the best of the week. I felt like I did really well to get a lot out of it and put myself in a very good position over the weekend. ‘
The four-time major winner gradually started making one birdie on the first nine, before returning to the clubhouse with four birdie.
“I started better and once you make a few birds, you start to feel like you can make a few more,” McIlroy said.
‘The greens were also much better this morning than yesterday afternoon. It felt a little easier for holes, and that’s really what I did. Everything was just a little better today and it got a better score. “
Richard Bland, who took part in the US Open at Torrey Pines last month after securing his first victory in the British Masters, is 5-under on Saturday.