Spieth keeps it together to remain in the hunt at Colonial

Spieth keeps it together to remain in the hunt at Colonial

McIlroy posted six birdies and an eagle throughout a formidable second-round show in Texas, along with his sole blemish approaching his remaining gap, leaving the Northern Irishman simply two behind Harold Varner III at the highest of the leaderboard.

Instead of giving into frustration, the 26-year-old kept his poise to birdie the next two holes to finish one stroke behind leader Harold Varner III at 10-under par through two rounds. "I was a couple under on the back, but front nine I just got into a rut and played a bad run of holes and obviously that put me out of the tournament".

"If you going to make a triple do it while you are playing well", said Varner, who is seeking his first win on the PGA Tour.

World number one Rory McIlroy staged a second-round charge, flirting with the course record before taking a bogey at his last for a seven-under 63 to sit two off the pace.

The PGA Tour is back underway without fans at Colonial Country Club amid the coronavirus pandemic, which suspended the season in March.

Spieth carded a double bogey on No. 3 and a bogey on the next hole to slip back to 8-under par.

"I think even yesterday, once we sort of got into the flow of the round, things started to become more normal", McIlroy said.

Spieth, a three-time major champion, recovered with birdies at five and six to limit the damage and keep alive hopes of ending a three-year winless drought.

Spieth has struggled for form - his last tournament victory came in 2017.

Varner bounced back with birdies from four feet at 11 and 10 feet at the par-three 12th and par-three 16th holes.

"I did a really good job of staying very neutral where I'd been kind of getting really negative or down on myself in the past", he told reporters.

Rose birdied the last to sign for a level-par 70 to join Justin Thomas and US Open victor Gary Woodland in the group four strokes back, with Brooks Koepka - who played alongside McIlroy - on four under after a second successive 68.

Rory McIlroy reacts during the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday.

Players also have to undergo temperature screenings, regular COVID-19 testing and practice social distancing on tee boxes and in the clubhouse.

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