Rory McIlroy has moved into contention at the Valero Texas Open after an excellent second round of 67 in San Antonio.
The Northern Irishman added this event to his schedule at the 11th hour in an attempt to recapture his best form ahead of The Masters next week.
And, having opened with a level par 72, the reigning US PGA champion hit top form in round two to power up the leaderboard.
McIlroy won five events in 2012 but has struggled to adapt to new equipment this season and has been below his brilliant best.
But he got his second round in Texas up and running with a birdie at the second and, although he bogeyed the sixth, he quickly bounced back, picking up shots at the par-three seventh and par-five eighth.
Another shot went astray at the ninth but McIlroy returned to two-under on the day with a birdie at 11 and then finished in superb style.
He birdied both 16 and 17, before two powerful blows gave him a 25-foot putt for an eagle at the par-five 18th which would have tied him for the lead at that stage.
He could not quite hole it but tapped in from a foot to complete an inward nine of 32 and put himself in position to have a major say over the weekend, trailing eventual halfway leader Billy Horschel by three shots.
"I'm looking forward to getting into contention. I haven't really been in contention this year and it'll be nice to get in the mix," McIlroy said.
"I want to play well and know if I play well I'll have a great chance to win. I knew the conditions were good and you had to take advantage of it.
"I played solid, I drove the ball well, hit quite a lot of greens, and made some nice putts coming in. It gets me in a good position going into the weekend.
"I turned in one under par and felt I was playing better than that. I think I was rewarded for my patience out there.
"It was a great way to finish and it'll make dinner taste nicer and give me a few more hours in bed. I'm feeling comfortable with my game.
"I definitely feel like I made the right decision to come here, and even if I hadn't been in this position and have been a few shots back I'd still feel the same way."
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