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World number one Jason Day extended his lead to three shots before play was suspended on day two of the Players Championship at Sawgrass with both Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy in close contention after posting good scores.
McIlroy stormed back after his opening round 72 to move to eight-under par after posting a superb 64.
The Northern Irishman was close to setting a course record, needing a birdie on the final hole to shoot a 62, but opted to lay up on the par-five ninth (his 18th) from 271 yards and then somehow missing the green altogether from 90 yards out. The result was a bogey and a still-excellent score of 64.
With Day tearing up the course once again on 14-under through 14 before the threat of lightning saw play suspended for the day, McIlroy sits just three behind clubhouse leader Lowry who added a 68 to his opening 65.
The Offaly is one shot clear of Jonas Blixt, Alex Cejka and Cameron Tringale, with American Colt Knost in a group of five players a shot further back after shooting a 63.
"I got off to a bit of a shaky start today, I didn't feel that comfortable and then we were called in," Lowry said afterwards.
"To go back out there and make a couple of birdies and finish the round nicely was good."
McIlroy reflected on his lost opportunity to set a new course record, admitting that previous difficulties on the ninth hole had possibly influenced his decision to lay up.
"I've got it in my head with the ninth hole that any time that I have gone for the green it has not really worked out for me," he said. "I had a good number today and laid up with a nine iron.
"I probably had a two iron to the front of the green. In hindsight, with that pin being on the left side, anywhere on the right I probably had a chance to get up and down.
“I thought get it within 100 yards and take my chances from there and just didn't hit a great third shot and left myself in a difficult position."
By: Kieran O'Daly