Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Rory McIlroy, seeking first win of year, in contention at Korea Open

October 18, 2013 -- Updated 1833 GMT (0233 HKT)
Rory McIlroy had a mixed day at the Korea Open but is still in contention entering the weekend.
Rory McIlroy had a mixed day at the Korea Open but is still in contention entering the weekend.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former No. 1 Rory McIlroy is tied for fifth at the Korea Open through two rounds
  • McIlroy shot a two-under-par 69 Friday, overcoming three straight bogeys at one stage
  • He is seeking his first victory in what's been a difficult 2013 for the Northern Irishman

(CNN) -- It's not the biggest tournament in the world but Rory McIlroy will take a win anywhere he can get it and the former No. 1 is in contention through two rounds at the Korea Open.

The Northern Irishman carded a two-under-par 69 at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in Cheonan near Seoul to leave him tied for fifth and two shots behind Hong Soon-sang entering the weekend.

In a field dominated by South Korean players, McIlroy is the lone player from outside the Asian country in the top 12.

His round was far from straightforward, however.

Starting on the 10th hole, McIlroy bogeyed the 14th, 15th and 16th before hitting five birdies in his next 10 holes, according to the OneAsia Tour's website. He concluded with a bogey on the ninth.

Is McIlroy ready for the Masters?
Rory McIlroy admits walk-off error
Golfer Rory McIlroy signs with Nike

"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," McIlroy was quoted as saying by the website. "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."

McIlroy is seeking his first win this year after changing his golf clubs and cutting ties with his management company.

Read: 'Brain dead' McIlroy play at British Open

Recent reports also suggested he split with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, although the former tennis No. 1 said this week the two are still together.

McIlroy's strategy for Saturday?

"Just to keep playing the way I am, stay patient," he said. "I don't need to go out there and be overly aggressive, but I just want to get myself into a good position for Sunday if possible."

Hong, outside the top 500 in the world rankings, didn't drop a shot en route to his 68 and leads three of his countrymen by a shot.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1202 GMT (2002 HKT)
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
Will Phil Mickelson win a fourth green jacket? Can Europe end its long Masters wait? Or will Adam Scott emulate the absent Tiger Woods?
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
He's been mistaken for Tiger Woods' ball-boy, but that won't be the case when amateur star Matt Fitzpatrick tees off at the Masters.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson shows us how to hit the long ball.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1827 GMT (0227 HKT)
CNN's Shane O'Donoghue meets Billy Payne -- the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1739 GMT (0139 HKT)
Shane O'Donoghue meets Ben Crenshaw who won his first of two Masters thirty years ago this month.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
CNN's Shane O'Donoghue walks in the footsteps of the famous British golf course architect.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
They carry a bag for a living but these men can bring home six-figure incomes. Welcome to the world of a caddy.
CNN's Alex Thomas welcomes golf opening itself up to women, but questions the motives behind the decision.
ADVERTISEMENT