Rory McIlroy sounded a warning to his rivals in his BMW Masters title defense with a flashy 7-under-par 65 on day two Friday.
McIlroy notched seven birdies to be at 12 under for the tournament, two strokes behind Ryder Cup teammate Peter Hanson of Sweden, who shot an 8-under 64 to move to 14 under.
Hanson's countryman Robert Karlsson carded 64 to lie third, five strokes off the pace at Lake Malaren.
Another stroke back was a group of four including Ireland's Shane Lowry (64), Justin Rose (68), Sweden's Alexander Noren (68), and first-round leader Welshman Jamie Donaldson (74).
McIlroy's fifth round of 65 this season was capped by three birdies in succession from the 13th hole.
''When I did need to make a par here or there, I was able to save those, and I'm in a great position going into the weekend,'' he said.
McIlroy hasn't won a regular European Tour event since last year's Hong Kong Open. Of his four wins this year, all in America, only the U.S. PGA Championship has counted...