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Friday, October 18, 2013
Rory McIlroy trails by 2 in Korea

ESPN.com news services

Rory McIlroy is in a tie for fifth place, two shots out of the lead at the halfway point of the Kolon Korean Open, a tournament on the OneAsia Tour.

McIlroy, 24, ranked sixth in the world, shot a 2-under 69 on Friday at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club and trailed Hong Soon-sang (68), who has a one-shot lead over Kim Hyung-tae (66), Hwang In-choon (68) and Kang Sung-hoon (70).

The 36-hole cut came at 6 over, with just 12 players under par through two rounds.

Hong is a five-time winner on Korea's domestic tour, including this year at the SolaSeaDo Pine Beach Open.

McIlroy, who began this year No. 1 in the world but has gone winless through a turbulent 2013, started on the back nine and had a stretch of five birdies in 10 holes. This is his first tournament since the PGA Tour's BMW Championship a month ago.

"I'm driving the ball very well and for the most part my iron play is pretty good,'' McIlroy said, according to a OneAsia Tour report. "But I definitely missed a few opportunities out there. 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 is the first of six tournaments to end the year for McIlroy, who next week heads to Shanghai for the BMW Masters, followed by the WGC-HSBC Champions.

He is also scheduled to play the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the European Tour's season-ending event, followed by the Australian Open and the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in Southern California. 

Information from ESPN.com's Bob Harig was was used in this report.