VIRGINIA WATER, England — Rory McIlroy shot a 7-under 65 to move into the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday.
So good was McIlroy's bogey-free round at Wentworth that playing partner Alex Noren, the defending champion, called it "the best round I've ever seen."
"I'm about to quit golf, I think," joked Noren, whose own round of 68 left him five shots off the pace on 7 under par alongside Robert Rock and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
McIlroy made seven birdies, including four straight from No. 12. Like in the first round, he failed to pick up any shots on the final two holes — both par fives — but the four-time major winner still described his play as up there with his best in 2018 "ball-striking-wise."
"I had everything sort of firing today," said the former top-ranked player, who matched his career-low score at Wentworth although the previous 65 was in 2009 before the course changes the following year.
"Every tournament is a big tournament, but the more I can play well and the more confidence I can build going into those majors the better."
At 12 under par, McIlroy led by three shots over Englishman Sam Horsfield, who followed up a 67 with a 68. European No. 1 Tommy Fleetwood is a shot further back after making birdie on the last three holes to shoot 66.