Team Ireland golfers Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy have put themselves in a strong position to challenge for a medal at the Olympics in Tokyo.
Both players are looking to add an Olympic medal to their long list of accolades and gave their chances of doing so a major boost in the second round at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Four-time major winner McIlroy began his second round six shots off the pace with Lowry one shot behind his teammate.
Offaly native Lowry shot a six-under 65 in a round that included seven birdies and a bogey, while McIlroy looked sharp in a round that included an eagle along with five birdies and two bogeys as he went around in 66.
The Irish duo lie on seven-under midway through the tournament, four behind leader Xander Schauffele of Team USA.
Thunder and lightning meant that play had to be suspended for over two hours on Friday, but Lowry and McIlroy continued from where they left off when play resumed as they sit in a tie for sixth with two rounds remaining.
Speaking after his second round, McIlroy said: “It felt good, it didn’t feel much different from yesterday.
“I felt like I played well yesterday, I just didn’t score as good as I could have and I think that’s why I came off the course maybe not as disappointed as I would have been because I knew that the good golf was in there and it was nice to see some of that good golf today.”
Lowry also reflected on a positive second round: “I started off lovely and just sort of had that momentum for the whole day then.
“Especially when I came out after the delay. I holed a lovely putt on 13, an eight or nine-footer, and then from there, I just played lovely for the rest of the day. I actually missed a short one on 17, which would have been nice to hole, but I’m happy with my score and very happy that I have a chance to do something special over the weekend.”