SHANGHAI — U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy shot 3-under 69 on Friday to increase his lead to two strokes after the second round of the Shanghai Masters.
After opening with bogey-free 64, McIlroy struggled on the front nine, bogeying the fourth hole and dropping two strokes when he drove into the water on the par-4 ninth.
He recovered with four birdies on the back nine to finish 11-under 133 halfway through the event on Lake Malaren's Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters course.
"I liked the birdie on 18 and had a good back nine," McIlroy said. "To shoot four birdies kept me going after the double bogey."
Thirty players in the field are vying for a first prize of $2 million, the richest in golf. The event isn't sanctioned by a major tour.
Noh Seung-yul was second after 63. The 20-year-old South Korean birdied three of the last four holes. He opened with 72.
"I had hurt my ankle and not been able to practice too much and also not be able to swing as hard as I would like," Noh said. "I just decided to be careful with how I played."
In third were Louis Oosthuizen (66) and Anthony Kim (68) at 8-under 136, three strokes back, and Padraig Harrington (70) and Hunter Mahan (72) were another stroke back.
John Daly followed his opening 69 with 70 to match Lee Westwood (70), Colin Montgomerie (69) and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (69) at 5 under.
ASIA PACIFIC CLASSIC: Jeff Overton shot a course-record 9-under 62 for a share of the second-round lead with Fredrik Jacobson (64) at 13-under 129 in Selangor, Malaysia. The second-year event is sanctioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour.
NATIONWIDE: Daniel Chopra shot 10-under 62 to share the lead with Jason Kokrak (67) at 134 after two rounds of the Tour Championship in Daniel Island, S.C. The top 25 on the money list after this event earn PGA Tour cards for 2012.