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Late birdies gives McIlroy share of Links lead

  • Story Highlights
  • Rory McIlroy shares the halfway lead in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
  • Northern Irishman finishes birdie-birdie for a 65 and a 36-hole total of 133 (-11)
  • Compatriot Michael Hoey and Scot Richie Ramsay also in lead one shot clear
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(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy birdied the famous Road Hole 17th at St Andrews -- and added another on the 18th -- to hold a share of the halfway lead in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on Friday.

Rory McIlory needs a top-two finish in Scotland this weekend to go top of the European money list.

Rory McIlory needs a top-two finish in Scotland this weekend to go top of the European money list.

The 20-year-old Northern Irishman, needing a top-two finish to go to the head of the European money list, is alongside compatriot Michael Hoey and Scot Richie Ramsay on 11-under-par after a superb 65 in the three-course tournament.

Four off the lead at the start of the day, but given a chance to take over at the top with Thomas Bjorn adding only a 74 at Carnoustie to his 64 at Kingsbarns, McIlroy birdied the third and then eagled the 568-yard fifth with a five-wood to within 12-feet.

Three more birdies were to follow before a bogey three holes from home, but that was quickly forgotten with his superb 3-3 finish.

Ramsay, called into the event late last week after the withdrawal through injury of Paul Casey, shot 66 at St Andrews while Hoey -- winner of the Portuguese Open in April -- had the same score at Carnoustie in a blemish-free round.

One stroke behind are another Scot Alastair Forsyth, English pair Simon Dyson and Ross McGowan and Finland's Mikko Ilonen.

Ryder Cup trio Oliver Wilson, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are all on eight- under-par with Luke Donald a further shot back.

Overnight leader Bjorn dropped all the way back to 20th place on six-under, but the Dane is still two shots ahead of Lee Westwood (67) and Padraig Harrington (70).

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