Rory McIlroy snapped his string of three straight missed cuts in style Friday, shooting a 5-under 65 to take the lead into the weekend at the St. Jude Classic.
McIlroy came to Memphis looking to tune up his game before heading to San Francisco for his U.S. Open title defense at The Olympic Club. He birdied three of his final four holes, and had an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys to match his lowest PGA Tour round this year.
With a birdie on No. 18, McIlroy reached 7 under to break out of a four-way tie for the lead.
"It's nice to see my name on that part of the leader board," McIlroy said. "It's not nice when you're struggling to make the cut on a Friday afternoon. It was great. It's nice to be through to the weekend obviously. It's obviously even nicer to be leading and have a great chance."
Jeff Maggert, tied for the first-round lead with John Merrick, shot a 68 to match J.B. Holmes (64) and Kevin Stadler (65) at 6 under. Merrick had a 69 to join Chad Campbell (67) and Kevin Kisner (66) at 5 under.
Davis Love III, the Americans' Ryder Cup captain, had a 68 and was tied with Padraig Harrington (68) at 4 under. John Daly birdied his first three holes on his back nine to get to 5 under but finished with a 69 and was at tied at 3 under -- making his fourth cut in five events.
Holmes had his low round of the year as he works his way back from brain surgery last September. He had seven birdies and a bogey, putting himself into strong position.