The Players Championship 2016: Rory McIlroy leaps on leaderboard

Written By Alec Brzezinski
(Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy made TPC Sawgrass his personal playground Friday after becoming just the second person to fire a 7-under 29 on the back nine.

The first person, coincidentally, was Shane Lowry, who accomplished the feat Thursday. Like McIlroy, Lowry is from fellow Northern Ireland.

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McIlroy started his round on No. 10 and birdied his first four holes to quickly get to 4 under for the tournament.

Then, he birdied the par-4 15th hole and chipped in for eagle on the par-5 16th to get to 7 under on the day and 7 under for the tournament. That left him two shots back after starting the day nine shots behind leader Jason Day (-9).

McIlroy, 27, has been a bit up-and-down this season, but he remains one of the most dangerous players on tour. Fellow European Ryder Cup teammate, Ian Poulter, certainly was impressed with McIlroy's start to Round 2 of The Players Championship.

And it could have been even better. McIlroy had a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th come to rest just inches short of the hole. He then had a 24-foot putt on 18 to break the nine-hole scoring record at TPC Sawgrass. But he just missed again.

McIlroy is now on his back nine (the front) where he will try to break the course record — 9-under 63 — which Day tied in Thursday's Round 1.

Here is the updates scoring/

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