Sports

McIlroy shoots 5-under 67, 2 shots off Abu Dhabi lead; Mickelson 8 behind

  • Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 16th hole during the 2nd round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 16th hole during the 2nd round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • Phil Mickelson of the U.S. follows his ball on the 14th hole during the 2nd round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Phil Mickelson of the U.S. follows his ball on the 14th hole during the 2nd round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain plays a bunker shot on the 1st hole during the 2nd round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain plays a bunker shot on the 1st hole during the 2nd round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes to post a 5-under 67 and lie two shots off the lead two rounds into the Abu Dhabi Championship on Friday.

McIlroy, at 7 under overall in the European Tour event, was rapt to be in contention for a second win in three tournaments. Playing partner Phil Mickelson was also happy, though in relief to make the cut by two shots at 1 under after a 70.

In a two-way tie for the lead were Scotland's Craig Lee (67) and Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello (68) at 9 under, a stroke ahead of England's Danny Willett (63), who eagled the par-5 8th hole at National Course beside seven birdies.